Parishes: Chidingstone

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Chidingstone', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3( Canterbury, 1797), British History Online [accessed 14 July 2024].

Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Chidingstone', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3( Canterbury, 1797), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024,

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Chidingstone". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. (Canterbury, 1797), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024.

In this section


NORTH-EASTWARD from Cowden lies CHIDINGSTONE, called in the Textus Roffensis, CIDINGSTANE.

THE PARISH OF CHIDINGSTONE lies below the sand hills, and consequently in the district called the Weald. It is about six miles in length from north to south, but not more than two on an average in breadth; the river Eden crosses the centre of it towards Penshurst, where it joins the river Medway. Northward of this stream the country is very much covered with woods, among them are situated Sharp's-place, Boarplace, and nearer the foot of the hill, Boar's-hill, usually called Bowsell-gate, which names, among many others of the like import hereabouts, certainly took their origin from the wild boars, formerly in plenty in these parts. About a mile southward from the Eden is the village of Chidingstone, which from the rise on which it is situated was called High-street, in which is the seat of the elder branch of the family of Streatfield, called Highstreet-house, having been their residence from the time of king James I. as it is now of Henry Streatfield, esq. The face of the country throughout this parish is much the same as those last described, within the Weald the soil is very moist, and in general a deep strong clay, the grounds having many fine large oaks interspersed over them, and in the broad hedge rows round the fields. There are many greens and small hamlets in different parts of it, as Wickhurst-green, Bow-beach, Hill-heath, Carey's-cross, Ranesley-heath, and others. At the southern bounds of this parish the branch of the river Medway, which rises at Gravely hill, in Sussex, directs its course eastward, and divides the two counties.

THIS PARISH was formerly divided into two manors, which were distinguished from each other by the addition of the names of their respective owners. The one being called the manor of Chidingstone cobham, and the other, the manor of Chiding stone-Burghersh.

THE MANOR OF CHIDINGSTONE-COBHAM was part of the possessions of a younger branch of the Cobhams, of Cobham, in this county. In the 14th year of king Edward III. Reginald de Cobham procured a charter of free warren in all the demesne lands within his lordship of Chedingstane among others. He was son of Reginald de Cobham, the only son of John de Cobham, of Cobham, in this county, by his second wife Joane, daughter of Hugh de Nevill, by Joane, daugh ter and coheir of William de Hever. Following a military life, according to the custom of those times, he was much employed by king Edward III. not only in his wars in France, but as a special ambassador to foreign states, on account of his great wisdom and fidelity. (fn. 1)

He was more than once constituted admiral of the king's sleet from the Thames mouth westward, and in the 30th year of the above reign was with the king in the famous battle of Poytiers, where the English obtained a glorious victory, and having been summoned to parliament from the 16th to the 35th of king Edward III. he died of the pestilence in the latter year, being then possessed of this manor of Chidingstone, and leaving Reginald, his son and heir, and Joane, his wife, daughter of Sir Maurice de Berkeley, surviving. She died in the 43d year of that reign, having by her will ordered her body to be buried in the church-yard of St. Mary Overy, Southwark, and being possessed at the time of her death of this manor, to which Reginald, her son above-mentioned, succeeded.

He was lord of Sterborough-castle, in Surry, from whence this branch of the Cobham's was henceforward called Cobhams, of Sterborough. They bore for their arms, Gules, on a chevron or, three stars of six points sable, in like manner as his father had borne them, but his grandfather Reginald, son of John de Cobham, bore the stars azure. (fn. 2)

This Reginald had summons to parliament likewife, and was twice married; first to Elizabeth, widow of Fulke le Strange, of Blackmere, and secondly to Alianore, daughter and coheir to John, lord Maltravers, widow of Sir John Fitzalan, otherwise called Arundel, and having by his will ordered his body to be buried in the parish church of Lyngefeld, at the head of his father's tomb, died about three years after in the 4th year of king Henry IV. being then possessed among others, of this manor, and leaving Reginald, his son and heir, and Alianore, his wife, surviving.

Reginald, the son, in the 6th year of that reign, had possession granted of the lands of his inheritance, among which was this manor. He married two wives; first, Eleanor, daughter of Sir Thomas Colepeper, and secondly, Anne, daughter and coheir of Thomas, lord Bardolph, widow of Sir William Clifford. He died in the 24th year of Henry VI. having by his will ordered his body to be buried in the collegiate church of Lingfeld, and this manor to his eldest surviving son, Sir Thomas Cobham, Reginald, his eldest son, dying in his life-time, leaving an only daughter, Margaret, afterwards married to Ralph, the second earl of Westmoreland, of that name.

Sir Thomas Cobham died possessed of this manor in the 11th year of king Edward IV. (fn. 3) leaving by Anne his wife, daughter of Humphrey Stafford, duke of Buckingham, an only daughter and heir Anne, who carried it in marriage to Sir Edward Borough, of Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire.

This family of Borough, alias Burgh, derive their descent from Hubert de Burgh, a younger son of the famous Hubert de Burgh, sometime chief justice of England, and earl of Kent, and bore for their arms, Azure, three fleurs de lis ermine.

Of these, Sir Thomas Borough, was a firm friend to the cause of king Edward IV. for which he was obliged to quit the realm; but returning to that prince's assistance, met him at Northampton, and accompanied him to Barnet field, where he became victorious.

He married Elizabeth, daughter and one of the coheirs of Sir Henry Percy, of Athol, by whom he left Thomas, his son and heir, who, in king Richard III's reign, was made knight of the garter, and in the third year of king Henry VII. was made a baron of this realm, and accordingly had summons to parliament that year, and afterwards.

By his will, anno 11 king Henry VII. he ordered his body to be buried in his new chapel, within the church of All Saints, in Gainsborough; shortly after which he died, leaving by Margaret his wife, daughter of Thomas, lord Roos, of Kendal, and widow of Sir Thomas Botreaux, two sons; Sir Edward Borough, who married Anne, sole daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Cobham, as above-mentioned; and Thomas; and two daughters, the eldest of whom married the lord Fitzhugh, and Anne. (fn. 4)

By her he left Thomas, his son and heir, who was summoned to parliament among the peers of this realm, in the 21st year of Henry VIII. by the title of lord Burgh. He left by Anne his wife, daughter of Sir William Tirwhit, of Ketilby, in Lincolnshire, Thomas, his son and heir, who procured his lands to be disgavelled by the act of the 31st of king Henry VIII. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir David Owen, from whom he was divorced for her incontinency, and in the 35th year of that reign obtained a special act of parliament for the bastardizing of the children born by her; by Alice his second wife, who survived him, and afterwards married Edmund Rokewood, he had, as appears by his will, Henry, his son and heir, William, Thomas, and other children, and died in the 4th year of king Edward VI.

Henry, if he succeeded his father in title, did not long enjoy that honour, for in the 15th year of queen Elizabeth, his brother William bore the title of lord Burgh, he being that year one of the peers who sat in judgment on the duke of Norsolk.

William, lord Burgh, had by Katherine his wife, daughter of Edward, e rl of Lincoln, Sir John Bo rough, who died in his life time, and Thomas, and three daughters, Mary, Elizabeth and Anne, and died about the 27th year of queen Elizabeth, (fn. 5) bearing for his arms, four coats quarterly, 1st and 4th, Borough; 2d, Cobham of Sterborough; 3d, quarterly, 1st and 4th, Percy; and 3d, Athell.

Which Thomas, lord Burgh, resided, as his ancestors had done, at Sterborough-castle, and was a man of no small eminence. In 1587 he was appointed governor of the Brill, and afterwards sent ambassador into Scotland, made a knight of the garter, and lastly, in the year 1597, on the death of Sir William Russell, appointed lord deputy of Ireland; before which, viz. in the 38th year of queen Elizabeth, having expended great sums in the queen's service, he was necessitated to alienate this manor of Chidingstone Cobham, with that of Tyhurst in this parish, to Richard Streatfeild, esq. son of Henry Streatfeild, esq. of Chidingstone, by the daughter of Moodie; who was son of Robert Streatfeild, by his wife, the sister of Sir John Rivers, lord mayor of London.

Richard Streatfeild, above-mentioned, was of Highstreet-house, in this parish, and married Anne, daughter and coheir of Fremling, by whom he had three sons, Henry, Silvester and Thomas, and a daughter Margaret, married to Edward Moody.

On the partition of the father's estates, in this parish, Henry had Tyhurst, and married Susan, daughter of Christopher Lambe, whose descendants will be mentioned hereafter, and Thomas had the manor of Chidingstone Cobham, and married Frances, daughter of Sir John Reeve, of London, by whom he left four daughters and coheirs, who possessed Chidingstone Cobham after his decease. They and their descendants at different times alienated their shares in this manor to Henry Streatfeild, esq. of Highstreet-house, eldest son of Richard, and grandson of Henry before mentioned, by his wife Susan, daughter of Christopher Lambe. (fn. 6)

Richard Streatfeild, esq. of High-street house, the eldest son of Henry by Susan Lambe, left four sons; of whom Henry the eldest, purchased the manor of Chidingstone Cobham of the heirs of Henry Streatfeild, as above mentioned; Thomas was of Sevenoke, and was ancestor of the present Thomas Streatfeild, esq. of Sevenoke; William was of Hever, and ancestor of the Streatfeilds of that place and of Penshurst, in this county; of Oxsted; of Stoke Newington, in Middlesex; and of London; and John, the fourth son, who was ancestor of William Streatfeild, now of Penshurst.

Henry Streatfeild, esq. the purchaser of this manor, as above mentioned, was of Highstreet house, and died possessed both of Tyhurst and Chidingstone Cobham manors, in 1709, and was buried in this church, as was Sarah his wife; by her he left Henry Streatfeild, esq. who was of Highstreet house, and succeeded his father in these manors and estates. He left by his wife, daughter of Mr. Baird, a son, Henry Streatfeild, esq. who was likewife of Highstreet house, and in 1752, married Miss Anne Sidney.

He died in 1762, leaving his wife surviving, and by her two sons, Henry and Richard; and two daughters, Sophia; and Harriet, who married Walter Bracebridge, esq. On his death, Henry Streatfeild, esq. the eldest son, became entitled to the inheritance of both Tyhurst and Chidingstone Cobham manors, and of Highstreet house, the family seat in this parish, to all which he continues entitled at this time.

There are courts baron regularly held for each of these manors.

The MANOR OF CHIDINSTONE BURGHERSH, or Burgherst, called formerly Burwash-court, was part of the possessions of the eminent family of Burghersh, vulgarly called Burwash.

In the 16th year of king Edward I. Robert de Burghersh was made constable of Dover-castle, and constituted warden of the cinque ports. In the 32d year of Edward I. he was summoned to parliament among the barons of this realm, and died two years afterwards, being then possessed of this manor, and leaving Stephen his son and heir, who in the 1st year of Edward II. obtained a charter of free warren for all his demesne lands within this manor.

To whom succeeded Bartholomew, who married Elizabeth, one of the daughters and heirs of Theobald de Verdon, a great baron in Staffordshire. He took part with the Spencers, and others, the king's favourites, and was taken prisoner after their deseat at Boroughbridge; but on the arrival of queen Isabel, and her son, prince Edward, in the 20th year of that reign, he was not only released from his confinement in the Tower, but was made constable of Dover castle and warden of the cinque ports, in which offices he continued till the accession of Edward III. in the 1st and 2d years of whose reign he had a new commission for them. He was much employed by that prince, as well in civil as military trusts of great importance; in the 5th year of that reign he was constituted seneschal of Ponthieu; in the 9th, he was made warden of all the king's forests south of Trent, and in the 11th, admiral of the seas westward; (fn. 7) in the next year he obtained a confirmation of his charter for free warren in all his demesne lands in this parish; in the 16th year of this reign he obtained another charter for free warren for his lands here; in the 17th he was again made constable of Dover castle and warden of the cinque ports, and during the time above mentioned, was, with others of the nobility, employed in several embassies into foreign parts; in the 20th year of it he was present at the famous victory gained over the French at Cressi; in the 23d year he was lord chamberlain of the king's household, and in the 29th, constable of the tower of London; and having been summoned to parliament from the 1st of king Edward III. till the 28th inclusive, he died soon afterwards possessed of this manor, leaving two sons, Bartholomew and Henry, and a daughter, Joane.

Bartholomew, the eldest son, married Cicele, daughter and heir of Richard de Weyland; and in the 24th year of the same reign, upon the institution of the order of the Garter, the king had such an high esteem for his valour and military skill, that he was made choice of as one of the knights companions of it; after which he was continually employed in the wars in France, where he behaved with remarkable courage, especially at the famous battle of Poytiers, where the English gained a signal victory over the French. His arms were, Gules, a lion rampant, double quevée or, were formerly in Newington church, near Sittingbourne, and still remain on the roof of the cloisters of Canterbury cathedral.

About the 43d year of king Edward III. he conveyed this manor, with much other land in this county and in Warwickshire, to Sir Walter de Paveley, knight of the Garter, in whose family it remained until the latter end of the reign of king Richard II. when it was conveyed to Vaux, of the county of Northampton, in which name it staid till the reign of king Henry VI. when it was alienated to John Alphegh, or Alphew, of Bore-place, in this parish, who bore for his arms, Argent, a fess between three boars heads couped, sable. He died in 1489, and lies buried in this church, leaving by Isabel, his wife, daughter of Richard Petit, esq. two daughters and coheirs; Elizabeth, who was twice married, first to George Gainsford, esq. a younger son of Sir John Gainsford, of Crowhurst, in Surry; (fn. 8) and secondly to William Brograve, esq. of Beckenham; and Margaret, who married Sir Robert Read, who had this manor allotted to him on the division of their inheritance. He was descended from an antient family in the county of Northumberland, and being bred to the law, was, in 1507, made chief justice of the common-pleas, (fn. 9) and was so highly esteemed by king Henry VII. that he had made him one of his executors. Sir Robert Read bore for his arms, Gules, on a fess wavy, three pheasant cocks sable; which coat, impaling Alphew, is still remaining in a window, in Sergeant's-inn.

By Margaret, his wife, Sir Robert had one son, Edmund, who was one of the justices of the King'sbench, and dying before him, without issue, in 1501, lies buried in this church, and four daughters; Bridger, wife of Sir Thomas Willoughby; Jane, of John Caryll, esq. sergeant at law; Mary, of Sir William Barringtyne; and Dorothy, of Sir Edward Wotton. He died about the 10th year of the reign of Henry VIII. without issue male; so that his four daughters became his coheirs, and on the partition of their inheritance, this manor, with other estates in this parish, was allotted to the share of Sir Thomas Willoughby and Bridget his wife.

Sir Thomas Willoughby was the fifth and youngest son of Sir Christopher Willoughby, and younger brother of William lord Willougby, ancestor of the present baroness Willoughby of Eresby, and of Christopher, ancestor of the lords Willoughby of Parham, now extinct; the origin of the family in this king dom being Sir John de Willoughby, a Norman knight, who had the lordship of Willoughby, in Lincolnshire, by the gift of the Conqueror.

Sir Thomas Willoughby being bred to the law, was knighted in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. was made a chief justice of the common pleas, (fn. 10) and by his wife Bridget, as above mentioned, became entitled to this manor of Chidingstone Burghersh, with his seat called Bore-place, and other estates in this parish. (fn. 11) In the 31st year of that reign he, among others, by an act then passed, procured his lands to be disgavelled.

He died in the 37th year of king Henry VIII. and lies buried with Bridget, his wife, in this church. His arms, being Gules, on a bend wavy argent, three birds sable, impaling argent, a fess between three boars heads couped sable, are still remaining in one of the windows of Sergeant's inn, in Fleet-street.

His grandson, Sir Thomas Willoughby, was sheriff of this county in the 15th and 32d years of queen Elizabeth, and bore for his arms, Or, fretty azure. He married Catharine, daughter of Sir Percival Hart, of Lullingstone, by whom he left several sons and daughters; of whom Percival, the eldest, succeeded to these estates, and was, on the accession of king James I. knighted by that prince. He married Bridget, eldest daughter and coheir of Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton-hall, in Nottinghamshire, by which means he not only possessed that mansion, but a large estate in that county, for which he was elected to serve in the first parliament of king James, and was ancestor of the present Henry Willoughby lord Middleton. Being desirous of increasing his interest in Nottinghamshire, he alienated the manor of Chidingstone Burghersh to Mr. John and Robert Seyliard, of Delaware, from whom it descended to John Seyliard, esq. of Delaware, who was created a baronet in 1661, and from him to Sir Thomas Seyliard, bart. who, about the year 1700, conveyed it, with Delaware, above mentioned, to Henry Streatfeild, esq. and he, at his death, bequeathed it to his youngest son, Thomas Streatfeild, esq. of Sevenoke, who devised it to his nephew, Henry Streatfeild, esq. of High-street house, in this parish; since whose death, in 1762, the inheritance of it is become vested in his eldest son, Henry Streatfeild, esq. of High-street house.

BORE-PLACE is a seat here, which, with the MANOR OF MILBROKE, was antiently, as high as the reign of king Henry III. the estate of a family, which assumed its surname from hence, and was called Bore, and assumed a boar for its arms. In the name of Bore this seat and manor continued till John Bore; in the reign of king Henry VI. conveyed them by sale to John Alphew, who rebuilt Bore-place, and died possessed of them both in 1489, leaving two daughters and coheirs; one of whom, Margaret, became the wife of Sir Robert Read, lord chief justice of the common pleas, of whom a full account has already been given; and on a division of their inheritance entitled him to this seat and manor, as well as the rest of her father's estate in this parish. He resided at Bore-place, which he much enlarged, and dying without male issue surviving, his four daughters became his coheirs; of whom Bridget, the eldest, was married to Sir Thomas Willoughby, chief justice of the common pleas, and on the partition of his estates, had this seat, Milbroke, and his other possessions in this parish, allotted for her share.

Sir Thomas Willoughby likewise resided at Boreplace, and added much to the buildings of it. His grandson, Sir Percival Willoughby, in the beginning of the reign of king James I. alienated Bore-place and Milbroke, to Mr. Bernard Hyde, of London, after wards one of the commissioners of the customs to king Charles I. who was a charitable benefactor, by his will, to several parishes in London, as well as others, in trust to the Skinners company. (fn. 12) His descendant, Bernard Hyde, esq. alienated them about fifty years ago to Henry Streatfeild, esq. of Highstreet house, in this parish; since whose death, in 1762, the inheritance of both Bore-place and Milbroke are become vested in his eldest son, Henry Streatfeild, of High-street house, esq.

There is a court baron held for the manor of Milbroke.

Bowzell, antiently called Boresell, is a manor, the greatest part of which lies in the adjoining parish of Chevening, under which indeed it ought more properly to have been described. It was antiently part of the possessions of that branch of the Cobhams settled at Sterborough castle, in Surry.

Reginald de Cobham died possessed of this manor in the 35th year of Edward III. as did Joane his wife in the 43d year of that reign; from them it descended down to Sir Thomas Cobham, who died possessed of it in the 11th year of king Edward IV. whose only daughter and heir carried it in marriage to Sir Edward Borough, of Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire; she survived her husband, and died anno 20 king Henry VIII. being then possessed, as appears by the inquisition taken after her death, of this manor, among others, held of William, archbishop of Canterbury, as of his honour of Otford, by knights service. (fn. 13) Their descendant, Sir Thomas Borough, lord Burgh, and knight of the Garter, died possessed of it in the 40th year of queen Elizabeth, leaving four daughters his coheirs; Elizabeth, married to George Brooke, esq. brother of Henry lord Cobham; Frances to Francis Coppinger, esq. whose direct descendant, Fysh Coppinger, esq. of West Drayton, in the year 1790, had a licence, under the king's sign manual, to assume the name of Burgh; Anne, to Sir Drew Drury; and Catharine, afterwards the wife of Thomas Knyvett, esq. by which, though the heir male of this family endeavoured to succeed to the barony, yet he failed in it, and it still continues in abeyance. They some years afterwards, to defray debts and other uses, joined in the sale of it to Thomas of Whitley, near Sevenoke, from which name it again passed by sale to Waterson; from whom, by a female, it was carried in marriage to Bonnell, whose descendant, James Bonnell, esq. of London, about the year 1784, alienated it to the Rev. Richard Rycrost, D.D. rector of Penshurst, in this county; who, on Dec. 10, 1783, was created a baronet. He died possessed of this manor, in 1786; and his son, Sir Nelson Rycrost, bart. is the present owner of it.

Ranesley, formerly spelt Rendesley, is a manor in this parish, lying near the boundaries of Penshurst, the owners of which were in antient deeds, written both Rendesley and Rennesley, but before the end of king Henry VI.'s reign, this family was extinct here, and the possession of it was alienated to Alphew of this parish, whose descendant, John Alphew of Bore-place, dying in 1489, without male issue, one of his daughters and coheirs, Margaret, carried it in marriage to Sir Robert Read, chief justice of the common pleas, on the partition of the inheritance, of whose daughters and coheirs this manor fell to the share of Bridget, married to Sir Thomas Willoughby, chief justice likewise of the common-pleas, whose descendant, Robert Willoughby, esq. alienated it to Bond, and Mrs. Anne Bond possessed it in the 1st year of Edward VI. (fn. 14) Her heirs conveyed it to Nathaniel Studley, esq. the son of John Studley of Emborne Minster, in Yorkshire, who bore for his arms, Argent, on a fess vert three stags beads caboshed or. His only son and heir, Nathaniel, succeeded his father in this manor, and in the time of the civil wars of king Charles I. alienated it to Mr. Christopher Knight of Cowdham, (fn. 15) on whose death it came into the possession of his son, Mr. Michael Knight of Westerham; to whom Sir Edward Byshe, clarencieux, in 1662, granted these arms, Party per chevron engrailed sable and argent, three griffins passant, counterchanged, armed, and langued gules. From this family this manor passed, by sale, to Robert Sidney earl of Leicester; after which it continued in his descendants, in like manner as the rest of his estates in this parish, till with them it came into the possession of two female coheirs, Mary and Elizabeth, daughters of colonel Thomas Sidney, and heirs general of Robert earl of Leicester, who was the grandson of Robert, who purchased this manor, and they carried it, by marriage, to Sir Brownlow Sherard, bart. and William Perry, esq. who possessed it in undivided moieties. (fn. 16) The former died in 1748, without issue, and his widow possessed one moiety of this manor till her death, in 1758, when she, by her will, gave it to Anne, widow of Sir William Yonge, bart. with remainder to her son, Sir George Yonge, bart. of Escot, in Devonshire. William Perry, esq. died possessed of the other moiety of this manor in 1757, leaving his wife surviving, who in 1770, purchased of lady Yonge, and her son Sir George, their moiety of it, and thus became owner of the whole of this manor, which she gave by her will, at her death in 1783, to her eldest grandson, John Shelley Sidney, esq. who is the present owner of it.


RICHARD STREATFIELD, esq. of Chidingstone, gave by will, in 1601, a house for poor people to dwell in, close to the church yard, now vested in his heirs, and of the annual produce of 1l. ios. and also lands in this parish, for the use of the poor, vested likewise in his heirs, and of the like annual produce.

JOHN PELSETT of Penshurst, gave by will, in 1602, lands, &c. in Cowden, for the use of the poor, vested in Cary Sanders of Croydon, and of the annual produce of 1l.

THOMAS NEVILL of London, gave by will, in 1633, lands in Romney-marsh, for the like use, vested in the Girdlers company, and of the annual produce of 1l.

ROBERT GOODHUGH, of Tunbridge, gave by will in 1662, lands in Tunbridge, for the use of the poor, vested in his heirs. and of the annual produce of 1l.

ANNE HYDE of London, gave by will, in 1637, for the benefit of the poor of Bore-place, in this parish, vested in her heirs, money to the amount of 5l.

MARGARET HYDE of Halnaker, in Suffex, in 1698, assigned over, by indenture, for poor people to dwell in, two tenements in this parish, vested in Henry Streatfeild, of the annual produce or 3l.

HENRY STREATFEILD, esq. of Chidingstone, gave by will, in 1708, lands in this parish, for the use of the poor, vested in his heirs, of the annual produce of 2l.

CHIDINGSTONE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and being a peculiar of the archbishop of Canterbury, as such is within the deanry of Shoreham.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is a large handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels, with a handsome tower steeple at the west end.

Among other monuments and inscriptions, in the middle isle, is an iron plate and inscription for Richard Streatfeild, obt. 1601. A stone, with a brass plate and inscription in black letter, for Richard Streatfeild of Cransted, obt. 1584; a like stone, for William, son of Thomas Birchensty, of Sussex, by Anne, coheir of John Fremling, who left two daughters, Anne and Catherine, obt. 1637. In the south isle, a memorial for Anne, wife of John Basset, of Eatonbridge, who left three daughters and two sons, obt. 1714; and for Thomas Basset of Cowden, son of Michael Basset of Chidingstone, obt. 1714; on a pillar, in the body of the church, a monument for Henry Streatfeild, gent. late of Great Highstreet house, the eldest son of Rich. Streatfeild of the same, obt. 1709. and is buried under the iron plate in the middle isle, erected by Henry his eldest son, and for Sarah his wife, obt. 1716. In the chancel, a memorial for Richard Nurse, rector of Chidingstone, obt. June 10, 1705, æt. 65; another with a brass plate, for Margaret Waters, widow, first married to John Reeve, of London, obt. 1638; her daughter, Frances, was wife of John Seyliard, esq. on a pillar, a hatchment for Thomas Streatfeild, gent. obt. 1628; on the north side, called Bore-place chapel, against the wall is a brass plate and inscription for Strode Hyde, esq. of Bore-place, obt. 1742; on the south side of the altar, an escutcheon and inscription for John Shefferden, gent. who married Frank, daughter and coheir of Thomas Streatfield, of this parish, obt. 1645. An altar tomb for Frances, daughter of John Reeve, married first to Thomas Streatfield; secondly, to John Seyliard; by the former she had four sons, by the latter two, obt. 1650. In the south chancel, a memorial for Tho. Woodgate, citizen and ironmonger of London, son of Wm. Woodgate, of this parish, gent. obt. 1706; he married Susannah, daughter of Thomas Seyliard, esq. of Penhurst, by whom he had two sons and four daughters. Against a pillar, a small monument for W. Streatfeild, gent. late of Burgherst court, second son of Henry Streatfeild, gent. of Highstreet house, obt. 1724, s. p. On the same pillar an escutcheon, with an inscription, for Rich. Streatfeild, of this parish, gent. ob. 1676; arms, Streatfeild, parted per pale gules, and sable three besants or. (fn. 17) The chapel on the north side, called Bore-place chapel, was built by Sir Robert Read, in 1516, and was dedicated to St. Catherine, in which he founded a chantry by his deed, dated in the year following. (fn. 18)

In the 15th year of king Edward I. this church was valued at thirty marcs.

By virtue of the commission of enquiry into the value of church livings, within this diocese, taken in 1650, by order of the state, issuing out of chancery, it was returned, that in Chidingstone there was a parsonage, with a house and five acres of land, worth one hundred and ten pounds per annum, master Thomas Seyliard then incumbent, who received the profits of the parsonage for his salary, and that the late archbishop of Canterbury was donor thereof.

It is a rectory of the antient patronage of the see of Canterbury, the archbishop of which continues patron at this time. It is valued in the king's books at 28l. 9s. 4d½. and the yearly tenths at 2l. 16s. 11¼d.

Church Of Chidingstone.

Or by whom presented.
Archbishop of Canterbury John Wood, ob. May 7, 1487. (fn. 19)
Andrew Pearson, B. D. about 1560. (fn. 20)
Thomas Seyliard, in 1650. (fn. 21)
Richard Nurse, obt. June 10, 1705. (fn. 22)
Thomas Cockman, S. T. P. 1705. (fn. 23)
Edward Tenison, S. T. P. resig. 1727. (fn. 24)
Thomas Tenison, S. T. P. 1727, obt. 1742. (fn. 25)
John Potter, 1742, resig. 1747. (fn. 26)
Walter Walker Ward, S. T. P. Jan. 1747, ob. 1755. (fn. 27)
Sackville Spencer Bale, LL.B. in 1755. Present rector. (fn. 28)


  • 1. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 65.
  • 2. Rot. Esch. ejus an.
  • 3. Rot. Esch. ejus an
  • 4. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 288. Lel. Itin. vol. i. p. 35.
  • 5. MSS. pedigree of Cobham. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 289.
  • 6. Visitation of the county of Kent, in 1619.
  • 7. Patent, dated Aug. 11, anno 11 Edward III. Rym. Foed. vol iv. p. 792. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 36.
  • 8. Strype's Stow's Surv. b. iii. p. 256. Chaunc. Hertf. p. 227.
  • 9. Coll. Bar. vol. iii. p. 256.
  • 10. Coll. Peer. vol. v. p. 559, et seq. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 33, 83. Hist. Grevile, 70, et seq.
  • 11. Dugd. Bar. p. 88, 109. Col. Peer. vol. vi. p. 569. vol. vii. p. 174, Philipott, p. 115. Harris's Hist. p. 75.
  • 12. Strype's Stow's Survey, book ii. p. 36, 46, 48, 64, 81, 170; book iii. p. 62, 100; book v. p. 67.
  • 13. Inquis. post Mort. Harris's Hist. Kent, p. 75.
  • 14. See particulars of chantries, Aug. Off. title Penshurst chapel.
  • 15. Philipott, p. 114. Visit. Co. Kent, p. 1619. Guillim, 394.
  • 16. See more particular account of the Sidneys, and the descent of their estates, under Penshurst.
  • 17. See the mon. and inscrip. at large, in Reg. Roff. p. 889.
  • 18. Weever, p. 327. This deed is remaining in the Aug. Off.
  • 19. He was prebendary of Hastings, and lies buried in this church. Weever, p. 327.
  • 20. Also vicar of Wrotham and rector of Brasted. Strype's Life of abp. Parker, p. 510. He was also prebendary of Canterbury.
  • 21. Parl. Surv. Lamb. lib. vol. xix.
  • 22. He lies buried in this church.
  • 23. Master of University coll. Oxford.
  • 24. See Sundridge. Biog. Brit. vol. vi. p. 3929.
  • 25. Son of the former, and prebendary of Canterbury.
  • 26. And vicar of Lydd, by dispensation, dated June 1742. He was eldest son of the abp. of Canterbury, and was afterwards rector of Wrotham, dean of Canterbury, &c.
  • 27. He had been before rector of Biddenden and Marden, both which he resigned. In Feb. 1747, a dispensation passed for his holding this rectory with Hayes.
  • 28. A dispensation passed in 1775, for him to hold the rectory of Withiam, in Sussex, with this of Chidingstone.