The parish and ville of Brasted

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.

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Edward Hasted, 'The parish and ville of Brasted', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, (Canterbury, 1797), pp. 146-157. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

Edward Hasted. "The parish and ville of Brasted", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, (Canterbury, 1797) 146-157. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "The parish and ville of Brasted", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, (Canterbury, 1797). 146-157. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

In this section


ADJOINING to Sundridge westward, lies the parish of Brasted, called in the Textus Roffensis BRADESTEDE, and in Domesday, BRIESTEDE. It seems to take its name from the long narrow form of it; brade, in Saxon, signifying length, and stede, a place. Within this parish is a district, called, The Ville of Brasted, which is a jurisdiction separate from any hundred, having a constable of its own, the remaining part of the parish being the most northern part of it, called Brasted Upland, is in the hundred of Westerham and Eatonbridge. The church stands within the ville.

THE VILLAGE of Brasted is situated on the high road to Westerham, which leads through the parish westward, midway between the two ranges of the chalk and the sand hills, to the former of which this parish extends, about a mile in length. About a quarter of a mile southward of the village, the river Darent slows through the parish eastward, a little southward of which is the church, and near the foot of the chalk hill, Brasted-court lodge, within the hundred of Westerham and Eatonbridge.

Near the east end of the village is Brasted place, southward from which is a large parcel of waste, rough, and woody ground, called Brasted Chart common, extending for two miles to the sand hill, below which it extends for some length into the Weald, where it has the name of Brasted Weald, in like manner as the other parishes mentioned before; where, at the southern boundary of it, is the estate, called Delaware. The whole parish, notwithstanding its great length, at no part of it exceeds a mile in width; the soil of it, above the hill, excepting near the river, is but very indifferent, being near the northern hills chalky, and near the southern hills an unfertile sand; below the latter it is a stiff clay.

A fair is kept at Brasted on Holy Thursday or Ascension day, for horses, cattle, &c.

THE MANOR of Brasted seems to have been formerly accounted an appendage to the manor of Tunbridge. It was part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, before the Norman conquest; accordingly it is thus entered, in the record of Domesday, under the general title of the lands held of the archbishop by knights service:

Haimo, the sheriff, holds Briestede of the archibishop. It was taxed at one suling and an half. The arable land is ten carucates, in demesne there are 2 carucates and 24 villeins, with 16 borderers, having 12 carucates. There is a church and 15 servants, and two mills of 24 shillings. There is wood for the pannage of 20 bogs, and as much herbage as is worth nine shillings and sixpence. In the whole it was worth, in the time of king Edward the Consessor, 10 pounds, and as much when he received it, and now 17 pounds. Alnod, the abbot, held this manor of the archbishop of Canterbury.

Soon after the reign of the Conqueror it came into the eminent family of Clare, afterwards earls of Gloucester and Hertford, who held it of the archbishop of Canterbury in grand sergeantry; and there having been great disputes between the archibishops and these earls, concerning the customs and services claimed by the former, on account of these premises, as well as others, which the earls held of them in Tunbridge, Hadlow, and other places in this county, the whole was finally settled in 1264, anno 42 king Henry III. by a composition then entered into between archbishop Boniface and Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester, in which it was agreed, that the earl should hold the manor of Bradested, by the service of being chief butler to the archbishop and his successors, at their great feast of inthronization, and that he should do suit for it at their court of Otford; and the archbishop agreed, that the earl should receive of him and his successors certain fees and allowances, as therein mentioned, whenever he, or his heirs, should perform this office, at such time as above mentioned. (fn. 1)

Richard earl of Gloucester and Hertford died possessed of this manor, at his house at Eschemerfield, in this county, in the 46th year of king Henry III. whose grandson, Gilbert, died possessed of it in the 7th of Edward II. being slain at the battle of Bannocksburne, near Strivelin; (fn. 2) and on the partition of the inheritance of his three sisters and coheirs, this manor, among other estates in Kent, was allotted to Margaret, the second sister, then wife of Hugh de Audley, jun. who not only succeeded to these lands of her inheritance, but was likewise, in the 11th year of king Edward III. created in parliament earl of Gloucester. He died possessed of the manor of Bradsted, in the 21st year of that reign, (fn. 3) leaving an only daughter and heir, Margaret, then the wife of Ralph Stafford, who in her right became possessed of it.

He was so greatly esteemed by king Edward III. that, among other marks of his regard, he chose him one of the knights of the order of the Garter, at the first institution of it; and soon afterwards, in his 24th year, advanced him to the title of earl of Stafford. He died possessed of this manor in the 46th year of this reign, and from him it descended to his great grandson, Humphry Stafford, who was created duke of Buckingham, anno 23 king Henry VI. and was afterwards slain in the battle of Northampton, fighting valiantly there on the king's part. From him it at length de scended to his great grandson, Edward, duke of Buckingham, who, in the 13th year of king Henry VIII. being accused of conspiring the king's death, was brought to his trial, and being found guilty, was beheaded on Tower-hill that year.

In the parliament, begun in the 14th year, though there passed an act for his attainder, yet there was likewise an act for the restitution in blood of Henry his eldest son, but not to his honours or lands, (fn. 4) so that this manor, among his other estates, became forfeited to the crown, at which time there appears to have been a park here, though as I find no mention of one after this, it is likely it was disparked soon afterwards.

This manor seems to have remained in the hands of the crown till that king, in his 31st year, granted it to Sir Henry Isley, and his heirs, by the name of the manor, ville, and park of Brasted, to hold in capite by the service of the twentieth part of a knights fee, and the yearly rent of 5l. 2s. 3d. per annum, in exchange for the manors of Bradborne and Tymberden; (fn. 5) which exchange was confirmed by the king's letters patent, under his great seal the year after.

By the act of the 2d and 3d year of Edward VI. the the lands of Sir Henry Isley were disgavelled, but being concerned in the rebellion, raised by Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the 1st year of queen Mary, he was attainted and executed at Sevenoke, and his estates were consiscated to the crown; after which the queen, by her letters patent, anno 1st and 2d Philip and Mary, for the consideration therein mentioned, to be paid by William Isley, eldest son of Sir Henry, granted and restored unto him and his heirs, the manor of Brasted, and the rents of assize there, and all other lands, tenements, &c. which had come into her hands, by reason of the attainder, in as ample a manner as Sir Henry held them, paying to the queen yearly, at her manor of Otford, 102s. 3d. for this manor; (fn. 6) which Wm. Isley remained possessed of till the 18th year of the reign of queen Elizabeth, when becoming greatly indebted to the crown, in 3644l. and upwards, and others, an act of parliament passed for selling so much of his lands as would pay his debts, and by it the lord treasurer and others were appointed commissioners for that purpose, who next year conveyed the manor of Brasted, and all lands and tenements belonging to it, to Sampson and Samuel Lennard, against whom, notwithstanding the above act of parliament, the attorney-general, in the 21st year of that reign, brought an information in the court of exchequer for seizing this manor, with the lands belonging to it, in Brasted, into the queen's hands, under pretence of their having purchased them without licence first had from the crown, they being held at that time of the queen in capite; to which the Lennards pleaded the statute of the 18th queen Elizabeth, before mentioned, which they alledged was sufficient in law for the lord treasurer and others to sell the same, without any other or further licence obtained of her, and they had judgment against the crown on this plea.

In the 22d year of that reign, Samuel Lennard released all his right in this manor and premises, to Sampson Lennard, who married Margaret, daughter of Thomas, and sister and heir of Gregory Fynes, lord Dacre of the South; (fn. 7) who, on her brother's death, Sept. 25, anno 36 queen Elizabeth, without issue, became entitled to the barony of Dacre, which was adjudged to her in the 2d year of king James I. in as full and ample a manner as any of her ancestors had enjoyed the same; and her descendants, lords Dacre: this ma nor continued in like manner as has been already more fully related under Chevening, down to Thomas Lennard, created by king Charles II. earl of Sussex, against whom the same claim was made by the daughters and heirs of his youngest brother, Henry, deceased, to this manor, as being of the nature of Gavelkind, but the earl of Sussex proved, that the manor and lands in Brasted were part of the possessions of Sir Henry Isley, at the time of the disgavelling act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. and consequently entirely free from the custom of gavelkind from that time, in a trial held at the Queen-bench bar, in Michaelmas term, anno 1709, on full evidence, this estate to have been disgavelled by the above act, and had thereupon a ful verdict in his favour.

Thomas earl of Sussex died possessed of this manor and the estate belonging to it, in 1615, leaving two daughters, Barbara and Anne, his coheirs, the former of whom married Charles Skelton, lieutenant general in the French service, and the latter married Richard Barrett Lennard, esq. of Belhouse. They, in 1717, joined in the sale of Brasted manor, with the rest of their estates in this parish, to major general James Stanhope, who that year, being then minister of state, was created viscount and baron Stanhope, and next year, earl Stanhope. He died possessed of this manor, in 1721, and his grandson, the Right Hon. Charles earl Stanhope is the present possessor of it. (fn. 8)

This manor is now charged with a yearly fee farm of 5l. 2s. 3d. to the crown.

BRASTED-PLACE is an estate here, which was once accounted a manor, and was heretofore called Crowplace, from the residence of that family at it, as it was before that called Stocket's, for the like reason.

Walter de Stocket, sometimes written in records and old deeds Stoks, held this estate of the earl of Gloucester as the fourth part of a knight's fee, in the reign of king Edward I. whose family bore for their arms, Per pale gules and azure, a lion rampant argent, pellettee. (fn. 9)

Simon Stocket possessed this estate in the next reign of king Edward II. and built a chancel in the church of Brasted, as appears by a deed of that time.

His daughter Lora carried this estate in marriage to Richard Boare, who bore for his arms, Gules, a boar passant argent, and was succeeded here by his son John, as he again was by Nicholas Boare, his son, who leaving an only daughter and heir, Joane, she carried this house and estate, called Stocket's, together with the chancel above mentioned, and certain land, called Boare's, to Thomas Crow the younger, son of Thomas Crow, of an antient family of Suffolk, who had before purchased lands in Brasted, in the reign of Edward IV.

From this family, who bore for their arms, Gules, a chevron or, between three cocks argent, (fn. 10) which coat was afterwards allowed to Giles Crow, of Brasted, by Robert Cooke, clarencieux, anno 1586, it acquired the name of Crow-place, and continued in the descendants of it till the latter end of the reign of king James I. when Mr. William Crow alienated it to Robert Heath, esq. afterwards Sir Robert Heath, then of Mitcham, in Surry, and successively chief justice of the commonpleas and King's-bench, who was, though born in the adjoining parish of Eatonbridge, descended out of Surry from John Heath, who was of Limpsfield, in that county. Sir Robert bore for his arms, Argent, a cross engrailed, between twelve billets gules, being his paternal coat. In one of the south windows of the Inner Temple hall, his arms, as chief justice of the commonpleas, depicted anno 1631, are a shield of four coats; 1st, Heath; 2d, on a bend, between two cotizes inden ted, three mullets; 3d as the 2d; 4th as the 1st; over all an escutcheon of pretence, ermine, a fess between three foxes heads erased. (fn. 11)

He was a great sufferer for his loyalty to Charles I. for which, being obliged to fly in foreign parts, he died at Calais in 1649, and his body was brought over and buried in this church, where there is a stately monument erected for him and his wife. Margaret, daughter and heir of John Miller, gent. by Mary, daughter of Henry Crow, gent. by whom he had several sons and daughters who survived him. After his death this estate continued sequestred by the powers then in being till the restoration of king Charles II. when Edward Heath, esq. his eldest son, took possession of it, in whose family it continued till Sir John Heath, leaving by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Mennes, knight of the Bath, an only daughter and heir, Margaret, she carried it in marriage to George Verney lord Willoughby, D.D. afterwards dean of Windsor, who was descended of the family of Verney, seated, in the reign of king Henry VI. at Compton Murdock, in Warwickshire, where Richard de Verney, the possessor of it, then built a noble manor house, the present seat of the family; (fn. 12) who bear for their arms, Three crosses recercele or, a chief vaire ermine and ermines.

His descendant, Sir Richard Verney, flourished in the reign of queen Elizabeth and king James I. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Fulk Grevile, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter and coheir of Edward Willoughby, esq. eldest son of Robert lord Willoughby, of Broke, and at length heir to her brother, Fulk Grevile lord Broke of Beauchamp's-court, in Warwickshire, and dying in 1630, was buried with his wife, at Compton above mentioned, which from this family acquired the name of Compton Verney. His younger son, Richard, of Belston, in Rutlandshire, succeeding to it at length on the death of his nephew, William, son of his eldest brother, Sir Grevile, without issue.

After which he resided at Compton, and was knighted in 1685. In the first parliament of king William and queen Mary he was chosen in parliament for Warwickshire, and being a descendant, through the female heir of Grevile, from Robert lord Willoughby of Broke, as has been already mentioned. he made his claim to that title in parliament, in 1695, anno 8 William III. which being allowed, he had summons to parliament accordingly, and took his seat in the house of lords, according as the antient barons of Broke were placed there, who were originally summoned Aug. 12, 1492, anno 7 king Henry VII. and dying in 1711, was buried at Compton Verney.

He was succeeded by his second, but eldest surving son, George, D. D. afterwards dean of Windsor, and lord Willoughby de Broke, who married Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir John Heath, and in her right, as has been already mentioned, became possessed of this seat in Brasted; which his great grandson, John Peyto Verney, now lord Willoughby de Broke (who, in 1761, married lady Louisa North, daughter of Francis earl of Guildford, by whom he had several children) alienated some years ago to the Right Hon. lord Frederick Campbell, as he did not long afterwards to John Turton, esq. M.D. who is the present owner of it.

DELAWARE is a seat of great antiquity, situated in the southernmost part of this parish. It was the residence of gentlemen of this name as early as the reign of king Henry II. (fn. 13) of whom Robert Delaware was the last, who, about the latter end of king Edward III.'s reign, died without male issue, so that Dionysia, his daughter, became his heir, who carried this seat and estate in marriage to William Paulin, of Paulin's, in this parish; in whose descendants it continued till the reign of king Henry VI. when William Paulin, having an only daughter and heir, Elenora, married to John Seyliard of Seyliard, in Hever, she entitled him to the possession of both these seats. His descendant, of the same name, resided at Delaware, and was created a baronet in 1661, who bore for his arms, Azure, a chief ermine, which was the antient paternal coat of this family; (fn. 14) and among the Harleian manuscripts in the British museum, is the pedigree of Seyliard, of De la Ware, set forth, anno 1578, and continued to 1630. From him this seat descended to Sir Thomas Seyliard, bart. who about the year 1700, alienated it to Henry Streatfield, of Chidingstone, esq. (fn. 15) whose great grandson, Henry Streatfield, esq. of Highstreet-house, in Chidingstone, is at this time intitled to this estate.


WILLIAM Crow, esq. gave by will, in 1618, to the parish an alms-house, which was exchanged for the present workhouse, now vested in the parish.

ELIZABETH SMITH, alias CRANE, gave by will, in 1638, a house, vested in the parish, of the annual produce of 5l. 13s. 4d.

WILLIAM NEWMAN, gent. gave by will, in 1736, land, for cloathing the poor, vested in the ministers and churchwardens, of the annual produce of 12l. 8s.

BRASTED is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and being a peculiar of the archbishop, is as such within the deanry of Shoreham. The church, which is situated in the ville of this parish, is dedicated to St. Martin. It consists of three isles and two chancels.

Among other monuments and inscriptions in it, are the following: In the north and middle isles, memorials for the Kidders. In the great chancel, memorials for the Bulls and Newmans; on the north side of the altar, a monument for Margaret, wife of Tho. Seyliard, daughter and heir of Francis Rogers, esq. of Otford, who left six children, obt. 1615; above, the arms of Seyliard, Azure, a chief ermine in a lozenge, with a number of quarterings; beneath the above is a beautiful altar tomb for Dorothy, daughter of William Crowmer, esq. of Tunstall, first married to William Seyliard, of Brasted, by whom she left four sons and two daughters; 2dly, to Michael Beresford, esq. of Westerham, by whom she left one son and two daughters, ob. 1613. In the east window is a shield, with the arms of Christ church, Canterbury, impaling Parker. In the north chancel, a memorial for Margaret, daughter of the Hon. John and Abigail Verney, ob. 1733, æt. 17; and for George, eldest son of the Hon. George and Margaret Verney, 1698, æt. 7. A mural monument for Margaret Mennes, daughter and heir of Sir Matthew Mennes, K. B. and the lady Margaret Stuart, married, secondly, to Sir John Heath; she left Margaret, her only daughter, ob. 1676. On the north side, a stately monument, on which is the figure of a judge, in his robes and cap, and on his right side his lady, resting on cushions, erected for Sir Robert Heath, justice of the common pleas, obt. 1649; Margaret his wife, ob. 1647; beneath an inscription, shewing that he was the son and heir of Robert Heath, esq. by Anne, daughter and coheir of Nicholas Posier, gent. by whom he left six sons and one daughter; arms at top, Heath argent billettee gules, a cross ingrailed of the second, with quarterings, which shield is likewise in coloured glass in a window over the monument. In the middle of the great chancel is a very antient grave stone, on which was an inscription in brass capitals of the 13th century, round the verge, now picked out, and illegible.

The church, is a rectory of the antient patronage of the see of Canterbury, the archbishop being the present patron of it. By an antient valuation, taken in the 15th year of king Edward I. this church was valued at forty marcs. (fn. 16)

By virtue of the commission of enquiry into the value of church livings, taken by order of the state, in 1650, it was returned, that Brasted was a parsonage, containing a house, fifty acres of glebe land, and seventy-eight acres of woodland, worth together thirty pounds per annum, and the tithes of the said parsonage ninety pounds per annum; that it formerly was in the gift of the archbishop of Canterbury, and that Mr. John Watte was then incumbent, put in by the parliament. (fn. 17)

This church is valued, in the king's books, at 22l. 6s. 8d. and the yearly tenths at 2l. 4s. 8d.

There was an inquisition taken concerning the glebe of this rectory, which had been withheld by the parishioners, and a decree on it was given by archbishop Islip, in 1352. (fn. 18)

Church Of Brasted.

Or by whom presented.
Archbishop of Canterbury Edmund de Mepham, S.T. P. (fn. 19)
Andrew Pearson, B. D. about 1560. (fn. 20)
Thomas Bailey, about 1634. (fn. 21)
John Saltmarsh, resig. 1646. (fn. 22)
John Watte, in 1650. (fn. 23)
Pinder, S. T. P.
Robert Barker, S. T. P.
Michael Bull, A. M. in 1723, ob. Aug. 27, 1763. (fn. 24)
George Secker, S. T. P. 1763, ob. 1768. (fn. 25)
James Parker, A. M. 1768, ob. July 1772.
William Vise, S. T. P. inducted Jan. 5, 1773, resigned 1777. (fn. 26)
Thomas Franklin, S. T. P. 1777, ob. Mar. 22, 1784. (fn. 27)
Wm. Skinner, obt. Mar. 1795.
George Moore, A. M. collated June, 1795. Present rector. (fn. 28)


  • 1. Regist. Christ church, Cant. No. 177. See a further account of this composition, under Tunbridge.
  • 2. Dugd. Bar. vol. i. p. 213, 751, et. seq.
  • 3. Rot Esch. ejus an. Philipott, p. 65.
  • 4. Dugd. Bar. vol. i. p. 171. See a further account of the Staffords, under Tunbridge.
  • 5. Aug. Off. Box. E. 18. and Rot. Esch. ejus an. pt. 4. The following account of this mansion is taken mostly from the late lord Dacre's papers.
  • 6. See more of the Isleys, under Sundridge.
  • 7. See Chevening, for a full account of these families.
  • 8. Coll. Peer. last edit. vol. v. p. 32. et seq. See more of this family under Chevening.
  • 9. Philipott, p. 65, 66; Book of Knights Fees, in the Excheq.
  • 10. Peacham's Comp. Gent. p. 239.
  • 11. Visitation Co. Kent, 1619. Guillim, p. 293.
  • 12. Coll. Peer. vol. vi. p. 549, et seq. Dugd. Warw. p. 435.
  • 13. Philipott, p. 137, by old evidences then in the hands of Mr. Seyliard.
  • 14. Guill. 204. Harl. MSS. No. 810–110.
  • 15. Harris's Hist. Kent, p. 112.
  • 16. Stev. Mon. vol. i. p. 456.
  • 17. Par. Surv. Lam. lib. vol. xix.
  • 18. Reg. Islip. Lambeth library.
  • 19. He lies buried in the chancel of this church.
  • 20. He was also vicar of Wrotham and rector of Chidingstone.
  • 21. A man of great parts and profound learning, especially in the Greek tongue. He was sequestred from this rectory, worth 200l. per annum, in the time of the troubles; after the Restoration he was made dean of Downe, and afterwards, in 1664, bishop of Killala, as a reward for his sufferings and loyalty. Walk. Suff. of the Clergy, p. 202.
  • 22. He was a bigotted enthusiast. See much of him in Wood's Ath. vol. ii. p. 287. He was put into possession of this rectory by the parliament.
  • 23. Put in likewise by the parliament.
  • 24. He lies buried in this church.
  • 25. He was nephew to abp. Secker, and was likewise canon residentiary of St. Paul's, and rector of Allhallows, Thames-street. He had been before prebendary of Canterbury.
  • 26. He is a prebendary of Litchfield, and resigned this rectory on being presented to that of Lambeth, in Surry.
  • 27. Formerly Greek professor in the university of Cambridge, and vicar of Ware, in Hertfordshire.
  • 28. Prebendary of Canterbury, and son of archbishop Moore.