Parishes: Farningham

Pages 510-526

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 southward from Horton. It is called in Domesday, Ferlingeham and Ferningeham; and afterwards, in antient deeds and writings, Fremingham; which signifies a village near the running stream.

The high road from London through Footscray, towards Wrotham and Maidstone, crosses this parish eastward, along which it extends near five miles, the average breadth is about a mile and a quarter; the river Darent meanders its silver stream across the parish northward, in the midst of a valley of fertile meadows, whence the hills rise both towards the east and west. As you approach it from these hills on either side, it forms the most beautiful and picturesque landscape that can be imagined. The village of Farningham is situated on each side of the above road, in the midst of the valley close to the Darent, over which here is a handsome brick bridge of four arches, built within these few years at the public charge of the county; the former one being found insufficient for so large a thoroughsare. Near it the river turns a corn mill, built on a most expensive mechanical construction; not far from it stands the mansion, now belonging to Mr. Fuller, and a little beyond it the church and vicarage, with other genteel houses interspersed throughout it, and two capital inns, forming altogether a situation remarkably healthy and pleasant, and exceedingly convenient for its accommodations in every respect. On the western hill, adjoining the high road, is Petham place, and on the opposite on the house of Chartons and Chimbhams farm; on the same hill to the northward is Eglantine, and on the hill opposite to it the estate called the Folly. The parish of Eynsford to the southward comes up very near the back of the village. There are about four thousand acres of land in this parish, of which one hundred and forty are wood; eighty acres very sertile meadow, and the rest arable. The soil is chiefly chalk, excepting near Kingsdown, where it is a strong heavy tillage land, of which kind is the land of Pethamplace farm likewise, only not so much covered with flint stones.

The liberty of the duchy of Lancaster claims over this parish. (fn. 1)

In the year 1728 there was a slight shock of an earthquake felt in these parts, at which time a piece of ground in a meadow in Farningham sell in, so as to leave a pit eight or ten feet over, and near as deep, and being on a level with the river it was soon filled with water, within three or four feet of the top. This piece of ground was so found before as to bear carriages over it. (fn. 2)

GERARDE says, persoliata vulgaris, or common throw waxe, grows so plentifully in the fields, on the top of the hills here, as to become a nuisance to the cultivation of them, and that Rhammus solutivus, or Buckthorne, grows much on the waste grounds about this place. (fn. 3)

ARCHBISHOP ALPHEGE, in the year 1010, gave Farningham to Christ-church, in Canterbury, for the cloathing of the monks there; and endowed it with the same liberties and privileges as their manor of Middleton was endowed with, which is expressed by the letters L.S.M. Libere Sicut Middleton; though in Dugdale, vol. i. p. 21, it is L.S. A. Libere Sicut Adisham, which was the most usual expression in grants to Christchurch within this county. (fn. 4)

In the reign of William the Conqueror, Ansgotus de Ros held this estate of the archbishop by knights service, and the monks of Christ-church received only an annual ferm of four pounds out of it, towards their cloathing.

Accordingly it is thus entered in Domesday, under the title of Terra Militum Archiepi; that is, lands held by knights service of the archbishop:

Ansgotus (de Ros) holds of the archbishop Ferningeban. It was taxed at 1 fuling. The arable land is In demense there are 2 carucates, and 13 villeins, with 5 borderers, having 3 carucates and an half. There are 6 acres of meadow, wood for the pannage of 20 bogs, and Richard de Tonebrige has as much of the said wood in his lowy. In the time of king Edward the Confessor this manor was worth 7 pounds, and now 11 pounds; of these the monks of Canterbury have 4 pounds, towards their cloathing.

Besides the before-mentioned estate, Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, was possessed of considerable ones in this parish; which are entered in the survey of Domesday, under the general title of his lands, as follows:

Malgerius (de Rokesle) holds (of the bishop of Baieux) 2 yoke of land in Ferlingeham. The arable land is 3 oxgangs. There are 2 oxen, with 1 borderer, and 2 acres of meadow. It was, and is now worth 15 shillings. Brunesune held it, and could turn himself over, with his land, where he pleased.

And soon after thus:

Wadard holds of the bishop (of Baieux) half a suling in Ferningeham. The arable land is three carucates. In demesene there are 2 carucates, with 1 villein, and 2 cottagers, and 5 servants. There is the half of a mill of 5 shillings value, 4 acres of meadow, wood for the pannage of 5 bogs. Besides this half suling, Wadard holds half a yoke in the same parish, which was never taxed to the king. In the whole it was worth 4 pounds, and now 6 pounds. Estan held it of king Edward the Confessor, and could turn himself over wherever he pleased.

And afterwards, under the same title,

Ernulf de Hesding holds Ferninghame. It was taxed for three yoke. The arable land is 2 carucates. There are now 6 oxganges, with 2 villeins, and 3 borderers. There is 1 mill of 10 shillings value, and 8 acres of meadow. Pasture for 100 sheep, wood for the pannage of 10 bogs, and 14 pence. The king has of the wood of this manor as much as is worth 8 shillings. The whole manor was worth 3 pounds, and now 40 shillings. Dering held it, and could turn himself over wherever he pleased.

The estate before-mentioned held of the archbishop by Ansgotus de Ros, seems to have been that which is now called Chartons, and the others held of the bishop of Baieux that which was afterwards stiled.

THE MANOR OF FARNINGHAM, which on the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, was by king William consiscated with the rest of his possessions; after which great part of them in this parish, as will be seen hereafter, were granted to William de Arsick, and together with others made up the barony of Arsick, being held as of the castle of Dover in capite, by barony. Of him those before-mentioned in this parish were again held under the notion of one knight's fee, by the family of Ros; one of whom, Jordan de Ros, anno 2 king John, gave forty marcs to the king, to have seisin of the land of Lullingston and Farningham, of which he was evicted by his nephew, whose father never had been possessed of it, but died before his eldest brother, who had seisin, and to whom Jordan succeeded in his inheritance. In the next reign of king Edward I. Alicia de Ros held three quarters of one knight's fee, in Farningham, in dower of Richard de Ros, and he of the heirs of Robert Arsick, and he of the king; and William de Ros then held one quarter of a fee here of the said Alicia, and she of the heirs of Robert de Arsick as aforesaid. (fn. 5)

Of the Ros's this estate, which seems then to have been esteemed as a moiety of the manor of Farningham, was again held by a family called De Isield, as it was soon afterwards by another, who took the name of De Fremingham, from their possession of this place. Ralph de Fremingham obtained a weekly market on a Tuesday, and a fair yearly, to continue for four days, the vigil, the day of St. Peter, and two days after; and the grant of free warren to this manor, in the 55th year of king Henry III. He left a son John, and a daughter Joane, married to Roger Isley; which John de Fremingham held it in the reign of king Edward II. in which he was sheriff of this country several times. His son, by Agnes Stafford his wife, was Sir Ralph de Fremingham, who held this manor in the 20th year of king Edward III. when he paid aid for it as three parts of one knight's fee, which John de Isield before held in Farningham, at which time he paid a further aid for one-fourth part of one knight's fee, which he likewise held in this place. He was sheriff of Kent in the 32d year of king Edward III. and died next year. His son, John de Fremingham, was of Lose, in this county, and was sheriff in the 2d and 17th years of king Richard II. He had the grant of this manor made to his ancestor confirmed in the 7th and 18th years of that reign. (fn. 6) He was sheriff of London anno 3 king Henry IV. and bore for his arms, Argent, a fess gules, between 3 Cornish choughs proper, (fn. 7) which arms are still remaining on the roof of the cloysters at Canterbury. He died in the 13th year of king Henry IV. and left by his will lands, to find two chaplains to celebrate at the altar of St. Stephen, in the monastery of Boxley; before which altar John Fremingham, of Lose, was afterwards buried; and where Alice his wife, Sir Ralph his father, and the lady Katherine his mother, then lay buried. Leaving no issue by Alice his wife, this ma nor came to Roger Isley, of Sundridge, whose descendant, Thomas Isley, of that place, died possessed of it in anno 11 king Henry VIII. (fn. 8) when it was found to be held of Dover-castle, by castle-guard rent, and was esteemed as one knight's fee. He was succeeded in the possession of it by his son, Sir Henry Isley, who, by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled.

Being concerned in the rebellion raised by Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the first year of queen Mary, he was then attainted, and executed at Sevenoke, and his lands were consiscated to the crown. (fn. 9) Queen Mary, by her letters patent, anno 1 and 2 Philip and Mary, for one thousand pounds granted to William Isley, esq. and his heirs, all the manors and lands then remaining in her hands, and which came to her by the attainder of his father, Sir Henry Isley, among which premises were Freningham Upper and Lower Court, and the moiety of the manor of the Charton in Freningham, (fn. 10) and he, by deed enrolled in chancery, passed away the abovementioned estates, in exchange, to William Roper, esq. of Eltham, who bequeathed them, with Pethamplace, and other lands in these parts, to his younger son, Sir Anthony Roper, of Farningham. He married Anne, daughter of Sir John Cotton, of Lanwade, in Cambridgeshire, and dying in 1597, was buried in this church.

It appears that a very singular complaint was exhibited in the Star Chamber anno 1636, 10 Charles I. by John Philipott, esq. against this Sir Anthony Roper, for, that he being possessed in fee of several farmhouses here, whereto a great store of land was commonly used in village, and several ploughs kept and maintained thereon, took all the said farms into his own occupation, and converted all the lands into pasture, and de populated and pulled down three of the farm houses, and suffered the other two to run to ruin, and lie uninhabited, although he might have had as great, and greater rents for them, than he had before; and that he had pulled down, and suffered to go to decay, and be uninhabited, a watercorn-mill here, which before used to grind store of corn weekly; in all which he had had respect merely to his own interest, without any regard to the good of his king and country; as from each of the said farms fifty quarters of wheat, besides other grain, used yearly to be sent to London; many poor men and women used to be employed; twenty men fit for the king's service; several carts for the carrying of timber for the royal navy, &c. That one of the farms, Petham-place, was a great defence and succour for travellers, who passed that way; which, since the above, had been a harbour for thieves, and many robberies had been there committed. Which depopulation being clearly proved, their lordships told him he was a great offender, and fit to be severely punished; for that it was a growing evil, and had already spread itself into many parts of the kingdom, which, if not prevented, might grow very prejudicial and dangerous to the state and commonwealth. They therefore sentenced him to pay a fine of four thousand pounds to the king, and stand committed to the Fleet; that he should acknowledge his offence in open court at the next assizes for the county; and the decree to be there publicly read, as a forewarning to others. That he should pay one hundred pounds to the prosecutor, whom they much commended for his care and diligence in this affair, besides his costs of fruit. To the minister of Farningham one hundred pounds, and the like sum to the poor there, in recompence of what they must have suffered by the above; and lastly, he was ordered, within two years, to repair and build again all the farm-houses, with their out-house, and the corn-mill, and make them fit for habitation and use, as formerly; and to restore the lands formerly used with them, being upwards of six hundred acres of land, to the said farm-houses, and let the same at such reasonable rents as the county would afford. (fn. 11)

But to return, Sir Anthony Roper was succeeded by Anthony, his eldest son, who was afterwards knighted at the coronation of king James I. He devised his estates in Farningham, by his will, to Sir John Cotton, of Lanwade, in trust, to be sold for the payment of his debts, and other uses, though Mr. Henry Roper, (the only surviving brother of Sir Anthony) commenced a suit at law with Sir John Cotton, for the possession of them; but on a trial, the jury gave their verdict in favour of the latter. Sir John Cotton passed away Farningham manor, in which Upper and Nether Court, which latter stood on the scite where Mr. William Hanger built his new house, on the north side the road, opposite the present seat, late Fullertons, were included, to Sir John Beale, who had been created a baronet in 1660, and had been sheriff of this county in 1665. He bore for his arms, Sable, on a chevron or, between three griffins heads erased argent, three stars of six points gules. He was of a merchant's family in London, and had first settled at Maidstone, whence he removed hither, and dying in 1684, lies buried here, leaving, by Jane his wife, two daughters and coheirs; of whom Jane married Sir George Hanger, of Drisfield, in Gloucestershire; and Elizabeth married William Emmerton, esq. of Chipsted, and on the partition of their inheritance, this manor fell to the share of the former.

His son, William Hanger, new built the manorhouse on the old scite, which was burnt down in 1740, before it was quite finished, and it has not since been rebuilt. Upon which he purchased, of John Fullerton, esq. the seat opposite to it, on the south side of the road, for his residence, and died without issue and intestate, whereby this seat and estate came to his brother, Gabriel Hanger, esq. of Driffield, in Gloucester shire, who, in 1761, was created baron of Colraine, in the kingdom of Ireland. He died in 1773, leaving by Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Richard Bond, of Hereford, several children.

He devised his estates in this county to his second son, the Hon. William Hanger, with divers remainders over; who, in 1774, having procured an act of parliament for that purpose, sold Upper Court, with a parcel of the demesne lands lying eastward of the scite of Nether Court, called Court Gardens, as he soon afterwards did the seat before-mentioned, with the reputed manor of Farningham, (there having been no court held for a great number of years past) to Mr. Thomas Fuller, who is the present possessor of them.

Sir John Hinde Cotton, bart. a direct descendant of Sir John Cotton, who was trustee for Roper, some years ago, on the pretence that the manor itself was not conveyed by his ancestor to Hanger, claimed the royalty and pound of Farningham; but on its being left to the arbitration of council, they determined it in favor of Hanger; whose heirs and assigns have ever since enjoyed the reputation of it.

CHARTONS is a reputed manor in this parish, which was antiently called Farningham parva, and seems to have been once esteemed as a moiety of the manor of Farningham.

This estate was held, at the time of the survey of Domesday, by Ansgotus de Ros, of the archbishop of Canterbury. From this family it went into the name of Ceriton, alias Charton, who probably might fix their own name on it. In the 20th year of king Edward III. Waleran de Ceriton held one knight's see in Farningham, of the archbishop, and accordingly paid aid for it as such that year, soon after which this manor seems to have been separated into moieties, one of which, called Chartons, alias Farningham Parva, being possessed by the Freminghams, was given, by the will of John de Fremingham, who died anno 13 king Henry IV. to Roger Isley, who left two sons, John, who died without issue, and William, who succeeded to the possession of this moiety of Chartons, of which he died possessed in the 4th year of king Edward IV. as appears by the inquisition taken that year, when it was found, that he held this moiety of Chartons, which was worth five marcs beyond all reprises, of the prior of Christ-church, in Canterbury, by service and rent in lieu of all services. From him this moiety descended in the same tract of ownership that Farningham manor did, to Sir Anthony Roper, the son; who, by his last will, gave it, with his other estates in Farningham, to Sir John Cotton, of Cambridgeshire, in trust for the payment of his debts, and other uses. He conveyed this estate to Mr. Benjamin Cracker, whose two sons, Benjamin and Joseph, parted this moiety of Chartons between them.

Benjamin had allotted to him the mansion-house of Chartons, which stands on the hill about a quarter of a mile eastward from the village of Farningham, with half the land nearest to it; and Joseph had for his share the farm called Eglantine, and that part of the land lying in the village near the river.

Joseph Cracker, on his decease, was succeeded in this seat and estate belonging to it, by his eldest son, Mr. Benjamin Cracker, attorney-at-law, who died posfessed of it in 1770; upon which it came, by virtue of a family settlement, to his nephew, Mr. Cabbinell, whose son in 1784 alienated it to Mr. Joseph Coxe, of this parish, yeoman, whose widow is the present owner of it.

As to the other half of this moiety, Mr. Benjamin Cracker, brother of Joseph, soon after the above division, built on part of it a good seat in the village of Farningham, adjoining to the bridge there, which he afterwards sold, together with Eglantine, and the rest of his lands in this parish, to John Fullerton, esq. who about 1742 alienated the seat, with the land adjoining to it, to William Hanger, esq. The trustees of whose nephew the honourable William Hanger, in 1774, conveyed it with his other estates in this parish in manner as before-mentioned, to Mr. Thomas Fuller, the present owner of it. Charles Milner, esq. who married Harriet, the youngest daughter of Sir John Dyke, bart. is the present occupier of this seat.

The remaining part of this estate, consisting of Eglantine farm, the Folly, and other lands adjoining to it, together with the lease of the parsonage, was sold by John Fullerton, in 1756, to Bourchier Cleeve, esq. of Foots Cray-place, who died possessed of it in 1760, leaving an only daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married to Sir George Yonge, bart. late of Escott, in Devonshire, whose trustees are at present possessed of these estates.

As to the other moiety of the manor of Chartons, alias Farningham Parva, much of the land belonging to which seems to lie to the north of Farningham, between Eglantine-farm and Franks. I find, by the register of Christ-church, Canterbury, that Henry de Scheneholt was bound to the prior of Christ-church in an annual rent, for a moiety of the manor of Freningham Parva, which was once Sir Walter de Ceritone's; which moiety was, sometime afterwards, held by Robert, son of Sir Robert de Scotho. After which this estate came into the possession of the family of Groveharst; one of whom, Richard Groveherst, dying in the reign of king Henry IV. without male issue, his three daughters, married to Richard Hextall, Richard Tickhill, and John Petit, became his heirs; and they, in right of their respective wives, became entitled to it; and in the beginning of king Henry VI's reign, conveyed their moiety to John Martin; whose descendant, Edward Martin, sold it, with Franks, in Horton Kirk by, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, to Lancelot Bathurst, alderman of London. Since which it has had the same owners that Franks has, and as such, became the property of John Tasker, esq. of Franks, (fn. 12) who died in 1796, and his widow is now possessed of it.

PETHAM, or PEDHAM-PLACE, as it is sometimes spelt, is situated about half a mile westward from Farningham, on the south side of the high road leading from thence to London. It was once the estate of a family of that name; one of whom, William Petham, died in 1517, possessed of this place, and Pethamcourt, which, though in Eynsford parish, lies adjoining to it. It afterwards came into the possession of the Isleys; from whom it passed by sale to the Ropers; and thence again, by the will of Sir Anthony Roper, to Sir John Cotton; who conveyed it to Sir Edward Barthurst, of Franks, in Horton Kirkby. After which it descended, in the same manner as that seat, to John Tasker, esq. who, in 1766, conveyed this, with other estates in this neighbourhood, to John Calcraft, esq. of Ingress, who at his death, in 1772, devised it, by his will, to his son, John Calcraft, who sold it to Sir John Dyke, bart. the present owner of it.

CHIMBHAMS, vulgarly called Chimmans, is another manor, situated at the eastern bounds of this parish, next to Kingsdown. It antiently gave name to a family, who were owners of it in the reign of Henry III. John de Chymbeham held this place of Alexander de Easthall; and his descendant, Laurence de Chymbeham, paid aid for it, in the 20th year of Edward III. After which it came into the possession of the Freminghams; from whom it passed to Isley, in the same manner as their other estates in this parish did. In which family this manor remained, till the reign of king Henry VII. (fn. 13) when Thomas Isley, esq. passed it away by sale to Thomas Sibill, esq. who died possessed of it in 1519, and lies buried in this church. His desecendant, Nicholas Sibell, died possessed of it in the 1st year of king Edward VI. holding it of the king, as of the honour of Otford, by knights service, Thomas Sibell being his son and heir. (fn. 14) From this name the manor of Chimbhams went, by a female heir in marriage, to Hide; who in king Charles I's seign, sold it to Mr. James Bunce, alderman of London, afterwards knighted by king Charles II. and his direct descendant, James Bunce, esq. of Kemsing, in this county, sold it a few years ago to Mr. Whitaker, of Wrotham, who left it to his nephew John Cooper, of Riverhead, whose widow is the present possessor of it.

William Fitzhelt, in 1143, anno 9 king Stephen, gave to the monks of St. Saviour's, in Bermondsey, the mill of Frenynham; which was afterwards, in 1224, let to John Scot, for ever, at the yearly rent of forty shillings and six-pence. (fn. 15) This corn mill is now the property of Mr. Henry Colyer, who occupies it himself.


A PERSON UNKNOWN gave certain lands and tenements in East Greenwich and Eynsford, the rents to be distributed among the poor of this parish, who do not receive alms regularly of it; these in the former parish consist of marsh land and a moiety of seven houses, being of 19l. clear yearly produce upon an average of twelve years, that in the latter being a mark yearly, payable out of an estate belonging to Sir John Dyke, bart, annual produce 13s. 4d.

HENRY FAREBRACE, vicar of this parish gave by his will, in 1601, to the poor of it, 10s. yearly for ever.

FARNINGHAM is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and being a peculiar of the archbishop, it is as such in the deanry of Shoreham. The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, consists of one isle and a chancel, with a tower at the west end, in which there is a good ring of five bells. Near the west end stands an antient octagon stone font, with emblematical figures carved in each copartment; seven of these seem to represent the seven sacraments of the church of Rome; but the whole has been lately so daubed over with thick paint, that the beauty of it is entirely ruined. (fn. 16)

Among other monuments and inscriptions in this church, in the chancel is a grave stone, with the figure of a man and inscription in brass, for Sir William Gylborne, vicar, ob. July 15, 1451; another like for Henry Farebrace, A. M. rector of Itham, and vicar of Farningham, a benefactor by his will to the poor of both parishes, obt. Feb. 21, 1601. A gravestone for John Pendleberry, thirty-five years vicar here, obt. Dec. 19, 1719, æt. 66. A memorial for Elizabeth, daughter of William Emmerton, esq. and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir John Beale, bart. obt. 1689; above, on a bend, three lions passant; another for lady Jane Beale, obt. 1676; another for Sir John Beale, bart. obt. 1684. On the north wall are the figures of a man, his wife, three sons, and two daughters; over him a shield, parted per fess azure and argent, a pale counterchanged, three roebucks heads erased or; over her, sable a chevron, between three griffins heads erased argent; then others with different quarterings of Roper, for Anthony Roper; on this monument; has been another inscription, but now wholly defaced, and there are yet remainning the arms and quarterings of Cotton, but so high and small that they are not perceptible. In the nave, a stone with the figure of a woman, in brass, for Alice Taillon, obt. 1514; another with the figures of a man and woman, in brass, and an inscription, the four shields of arms are gone, for T. Sibill, esq. and Agnes his wife; he died in 1519; another with the figure of a man (that of the woman is lost) and inscription in brass for William Petham and Alice his wife; he died in 1517. In the north window, next the pulpit, is the following imperfect inscription, Orate pro animabus Sybbely, uxoris ejus. In the church yard is a costly mausoleum, erected by Thomas Nash, esq. merchant and citizen of London, who died at Paris in 1778, and whose remains are, with others of his family, deposited in it.

This church seems to have been given, in 1010, to the church of Canterbury, by archbishop Elphege.

In the year 1185, anno 32 king Henry II. pope Urban III. confirmed six pounds rent out of Farning ham, and the tythes of the manor to Christ-church, Canterbury. (fn. 17) Stephen Langton, archbishop in 1225, confirmed and appropriated this church to the almonry of that priory, (fn. 18) by a decree, in consequence, of a dispute which had arisen, whether the church of Farningham was a chapel of the church of Eynsford, or not?

By this decree, which was made with the consent of all parties, the archbishop ordained, that the rector of Eynsford, and his successors, should possess the church of Eynsford entirely, with all its tythes, great and small, &c. as he did before; and that the almoner of Christchurch, and not the monks, (who affirmed, that by a decree of Henry, archbishop of Canterbury, the third part of the great tythes of the church of Farningham, of allowed right, belonged to them, as this church was a chapel to the church of Eynsford), should have and possess, to the use of their almonry, the chapel of Farningham, exception the vicarage, which consisted of all the small tythes of the chapel, as well as of oblations, lands, rents, and all other things belonging to it; but that the monks should only have the tythes of corn, and of the other produce of the fields, and the messuage in the east part of the garden, which contained six days works and a half of land, from which, however, they were to pay the vicar one hundred shillings yearly; and that the rector of Eynsford should, on a vacancy, present to the vicarage of that church, and that further than this, neither should intermeddle, or claim a further right in the above premises. This decree was the next year confirmed by pope Gregory IX. in the first year of his pontificate.

After which, there were several compositions entered into between the prior and the vicar of this parish, and the portion assigned to the latter was ratified by John archbishop of Canterbury in 1348. (fn. 19)

The church of Farningham continued appropriated to the almonry of Christ-church till the dissolution of that priory, in the reign of king Henry VIII. when it was, together with the vicarage of it, among the rest of the possessions of the priory, surrendered into the king's hands, and he, by his dotation charter, in his 33d year, settled this church and vicarage on his newerected dean and chapter there, part of whose possessions the rectory still remains; but the advowson came soon afterwards into the possession of the archbishop of Canterbury, in whose patronage it now continues.

In the year 1384, anno 8 king Richard II. this church was valued at ten pounds, and the vicarage at 66s. 8d. In 1622 there was a decree of the court of exchequer in favour of the dean and chapter against Sir Anthony Roper, for a pension of twelve pounds per annum, issuing out of the manor of Chartons. (fn. 20)

In the survey of the possessions of the late dean and chapter of Canterbury, in 1650, it was returned, that in Farningham there was a parsonage, or rectory, consisting of a small dwelling-house, a large barn, and other out offices, a little orchard, and two closes of arable, containing seven acres; which, with the tythe of corn and other profits, was worth one hundred pounds coibs annis. All which were let by the dean and chapter, anno 16 king Charles I. for twentyone years, to Richard Bailey, at the rent of two pounds to the dean and chapter, and of five macrs, or 3l. 6s. 8d. one quarter of wheat, and one quarter of barley, to the vicar; and the lessee was likewise bounds to provide entertainment for the dean and his officers for one day, or pay twenty shillings yearly. The lease of this rectory, or parsonage, was some time ago, in the possession of Robert Thorpe, who died in 1730, and lies buried in a vault in the chancel of this church. It afterwards came into the hands of John Fullerton, esq. who, in 1756, sold his interest in it, with lands in this parish, to Bourchier Cleeve, esq. whose only daughter and heir, Elizabeth, carried it in marriage to Sir George Yonge, bart. late of Escott, in Devonshire, whose trustees are now in the possession of it.

By virtue of the commission of enquiry, made in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it was returned, that Farningham was a vicarage, with a house, and nine acres of glebe land, worth forty pounds per annum, master Browne enjoying it, and preaching here. (fn. 21)

The vicarage is valued in the king's books at. 9l. 5s. 10d. and the yearly tenths at 18s. 7d. (fn. 22)

Church of Farningham.

Or by whom presented.
Wm. Gilborne, ob. July 15, 1451. (fn. 23)
Prior and Convent of Christ-church. presented in 1464.
Archbishop of Canterbury Henry Farebrace, A. M. obt. Feb. 21, 1601. (fn. 24)
Thomas Browne, 1684.
John Pendleberry, 1684, obt. Dec. 9, 1719. (fn. 25)
Fuller, 1723, ob. Jan. 1738.
John Andrews, A.M. 1744.
John Perry, D.D. 1754, obt. 1768. (fn. 26)
John Saunders, 1768. Present vicar. (fn. 27)


  • 1. Kilb. Surv. p. 360.
  • 2. Phil. Trans. vol. xxxv. No. 399.
  • 3. Johnson's Gerarde's Herb. p. 526, 1337.
  • 4. Somn. Cant. appen. p. 39.
  • 5. Book of Knights Fees in the Exchequer.
  • 6. Philipott, p. 151.
  • 7. Strype's Stow's Survey, Book v. p. 116.
  • 8. Rot. Esch. See more of the Isleys under Sundridge.
  • 9. Philipott, p. 151.
  • 10. MSS. penes Dom. Dacre.
  • 11. See Rushaw. Coll. vol. ii. p. 270, vol. iii. append. p. 106.
  • 12. See Franks, p. 500.
  • 13. Philipott, p. 151.
  • 14. Rot. Esch. ejus an.
  • 15. Dugd. Mon. vol. i. p. 640.
  • 16. See an engraving and particular description of this font in Custumal. Roff. p. 110.
  • 17. Regist. of Christ-church, Canterbury.
  • 18. Somn. Cant. append. p. 41.
  • 19. Archives of the dean and chapter of Canterbury among which is a schedule of the boundaries between the parishes of Eynesford and Farningham. See Ducarel's Rep. edit. ii. p. 179.
  • 20. A copy of it is among the charters miscellaneous in Lamb. libr. vol. vi.
  • 21. Parl. Surveys, Lambeth-library, vol. xix.
  • 22. Bacon's Lib. Regis.
  • 23. He lies buried in the chancel of this church.
  • 24. He lies buried in the chancel. He was before rector of Ightham; to the poor of which parish, as well as of Farningham, he was a benefactor. He resigned Ightham for Halsted.
  • 25. He lies buried in the chancel of this church.
  • 26. Also rector of At near Wrotham.
  • 27. Also vicar of Newington by Sittingborne; and a six preacher of Canterbury catherdral.