The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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The next parish eastward from Penshurst is LYGHE, called also in writings LEIGH and WEST LEIGH, and LA LYE, in the Textus Roffensis, LEAGA, which in Saxon signifies a feeding, or pasture.
THIS PARISH is about three miles and an half in length from north to south, and somewhat less than two and a half in breadth, it lies below the sand hills, in the district of the Weald. The northern part of it lies more above ground, and consequently more dry than the parishes last described; the soil is mostly a stiff loam; the lower parts, next the river, are much subject to be overflowed. The village is in the southern part of the parish, having the church on the north side of it, and a small distance from it the seat of Hall-place, situated within the large district called Hallenden, which stretches two miles and an half north eastward, the extremity of which, though now separated from this part of it, by the parish of Tunbridge intervening, yet by the best accounts has ever been supposed to be within this of Lyghe. The river Medway runs along the southern part of this parish, at a small distance southward from which is Endsfield. Another stream, which rises at the foot of the sand-hills, bounds the eastern side of this parish, and meets the river at Tunbridge; between these is the estate and mill of Ramhurst, close to the boundary of it next to Tunbridge; about half a mile westward from the village is the ground, late the upper part of Penshurst-park, called Lyghe, alias North Park, now the property of Mr. Alnutt. Above it is Lyghe-green, between which and Hall-place there is much coppice wood, as there is in the northern part of this parish, called Westwood, near Halls and Fletchers green. A fair is held here on July 25, for pedlary ware, &c.
THE MANOR OF LYGHE, alias WEST LEIGH, had always the same owners that the adjoining manor of Penshurst had. Sir Stephen de Peneshurste possessed it in the reign of king Edward I. after whose decease, Margery, his wife, held it in dower, and died possessed of it in the 2d year of king Edward II. whose daughter and coheir Alice carried it in marriage to John de Columbers, as appears by an inquisition taken in the 3d year of king Edward II. (fn. 1)
Soon after which this manor was conveyed to John de Pulteney, afterwards knighted, and four times lord mayor of London, who was likewise possessed of the manor of Yeanesfield, with lands called Tappenashe, and others in this parish. In the 12th year of king Edward III. Stephen de Columbers, clerk, brother of Sir Philip de Columbers, released to Sir John de Pulteney all his right to the manor of Yenesfeld abovementioned, and in the 18th year of the same reign, Roger de la Lye, son of Godfrey de Essex, released to him all his right and title in the lands and tenements, which the said Sir John had purchased of Emme, his mother, in this parish of Lye. In the 20th year of king Edward III. Sir John de Pulteney paid respective aid for the manor of Yenesfeld, as the third part of a knight's see, which John de Columbers held at Yeanefeld of the earl of Gloucester, being parcel of that honor; and also for the fouth part of a knight's see, which Emma de Tapenese held at Tapenese, which lands were also called Tapenes-corner. (fn. 2)
By the inquisition taken after the death of Sir John de Pulteney, it appears, that he died in the 23d year of the above reign, being then possessed of the manors of Leigh, alias Lyghe, Penshurst and Yenesfeld, South-park wood, Orbiston wood, Heversmede, Cortons lands, and lands in Lyghe and Tappenashe, and that William de Pulteney was his son and heir.
After which these manors of West Leigh, alias Lyghe and Yeansfield, alias Ensfield, with the other lands in this parish, passed in the same manner as that of Penshurst above described, with the several successive owners, until king Edward VI. by his letters patent in his 4th year, granted them with lands, called Pauls and Priors, the park and the lodge in Ashore park, all which were within this parish, together with the manor of Penshurst, to Sir William Sidney, to hold in capite, by knight's service. (fn. 3) He died possessed of them in the 7th year of king Edward VI. after which they continued with Penshurst in his descendants, earls of Leicester, till at length after the death of Josceline, the last earl, in 1743, without lawful issue, they came into the possession of Sir Brownlow Sherard, bart. and Mary his wife, and William Perry, esq. and Elizabeth his wife, the daughters and coheirs of colonel Thomas Sidney, the earl's elder brother, in consequence of a compromise made between them and the earl's natural daughter and devisee, and they afterwards made a division of a part of these estates, and possessed the rest in undivided moieties, not as joint tenants, but as tenants in common, which agreement and division was confirmed by act of parliament.
Sir Brownlow Sherard, bart. died in 1748 without issue, after which his widow possessed the undivided moiety of the manor of Lyghe, and other lands in this parish, and the divided moiety of Ensfield, and the lands belonging to it, till her death in 1758, when she by her will bequeathed the whole of her interest in both to Anne, widow of Sir William Yonge, bart. and K.B. for her life, remainder to her son Sir George Yonge, bart. of Escot; and they joined in the sale of the divided moiety of those estates in this parish, consisting of the capital messuage of Ensfield, with three hundred acres of land, and other premises, to Richard Alnutt, esq. of London, merchant, whose grandson of the same name, is the present proprietor of them; and they joined in the sale of their undivided moiety of the manor of Lyghe, and the rest of the undivided part of those estates to Mrs. Elizabeth Perry, of Penshurstplace, who being in possession of the other undivided moiety of them, after the death of her husband in 1757, became possessed of the whole see of them, which continued in her possession with Penshurst, and the rest of the Sidney estates here, till her death in 1783, since which, by virtue of her will, they are now at length become the property of her eldest grandson, John Shelley Sidney, esq. (fn. 4)
In the EASTERN PART of this parish, near the river Medway, stands an antient mansion called RAMHURST, once reputed a manor and held of the honor of Gloucester. In the reign of king Edward I. it was held by the family of Rouland, from whence it passed to the Culpepers, one of whom, Walter Culpeper, paid respective aid for it in the 20th year of king Edward III. as the sixth part of a knight's see, which Thomas Rouland before held at Ramhurst of the earl of Gloucester. It continued in the name of Culpeper for several generations, till at length it was alienated to Worral, and from thence again about the latter end of Henry VIII. to Lewknor, from whom, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, it was sold to Dixon, from which name it passed by sale into that of Saxby, in which it continued till Mr. William Saxby conveyed it by sale to Richard Children, esq. who resided here and died possessed of it in 1753. He was succeeded in it by his eldest son, John Children, esq. of Tunbridge, whose son, George Children, esq. of Tunbridge, is the present possessor of it.
HOLLENDEN is a large district of land, which by the best account seems to be all of it within this parish, though that of Tunbridge intervenses, and entirely separates the greatest part of the parish of Lyghe from that in which Hollenden is situated.
It was in very early times part of the possessions of the antient family of Fremingham, for in the 55th year of king Henry III. Ralph de Fremingham obtained a charter of free-warren to several of his manors in this county, among which was this of Hollenden. But about the reign of king Henry IV. it was in the possession of Cheney, as appears by some antient court-rolls, and several parcels of land belonging to it, were long after called by the name of Cheney-fields. (fn. 5) But before the reign of king Henry VIII. it became parcelled out to several different owners, and thereby lost all right to the name of a manor, so that now there is neither court, rent of service belonging to it.
John Fane, esq. of Tudely, was possessed of lands and tenements called Holynden, in the reign of king Henry VII. and by his will in the 13th year of that reign, devised them to his youngest son John, ancestor of the lord viscount Vane and the earl of Darlington. A house and part of the demesnes of it were about the beginning of the reign of king Henry VII. conveyed by sale to Stace, whose son, John Stace, died possessed of them in 1539, without issue, and lies buried in this church. Upon which this estate descended to his cousin and next heir, John Stace, of Cobham, who died possessed of it in 1591, and was likewise buried here. He had three sons and two daughters, and at his death devised this estate to George Stace, his sole heir, who sold it to Turner, as he again did to James Pelsett, since which it has been again separated in such a manner that no two or three persons can be said to be the possessors of it.
ANOTHER PART of Hollenden was conveyed, in the reign of king Henry VIII. to William Waller, from whom it descended to his son, Richard Waller, about which time this part acquired the name of HALL-PLACE, alias HOLLENDEN. Anne his widow survived him, and carried this estate to her second husband, Stephen Towse, gent. who died owner of it in 1611, and lies buried here, leaving his wife above mentioned surviving; not long after which it passed to Crittenden, in which name it continued to the reign of king Charles II. when it was alienated to Harrison, and Abraham Harrison, esq. died possessed of it in 1717, and lies buried in this church; after which it was alienated to Burges, and Robert Burges, esq. claimed the manerial rights of it, by the name of the manor of Lyghe Hallendon. He rebuilt this seat, of which he died possessed in 1794; since which his widow, Mrs. Sarah Burges, having remarried James Harbroc, esq. he is become the present owner of it.
LYGHE is in the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and deanry of Malling. The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is a small mean building without a steeple. There are good remains of painted glass in the windows.
Among other monuments and inscriptions in it are the following: In the chancel are three brass plates, which have been taken from grave stones, and are now nailed to the floor of a pew, on the north side, in black letter, one for Thomas Chann, esq. ob. 1407; the second for John Stace, of Moreden, eldest son of John Stace of Hollenden, ob. 1590; the third represents the figure of a woman in her shroud, lying in a tomb, and on the upper part she is represented as rising from it; the inscription is lost. A memorial for Anne and Philidelphia, who died infants, daughters of Mr. Joseph Carte, minister of this church, by the lady Anne his wife, daughter of Robert earl of Leicester; within the rails, a memorial for Mary, wife of Richard Antrobus, second son of Robert Antrobus, minister of this parish, who lies near it; she was eldest daughter of Thomas Seyliard, esq. of Salmons, obt. 1679; a grave stone, with two brass plates, the uppermost has an inscription in black letter, for John Stace, of Hollenden, ob. s. p. and that estate descended to John Stace of Cobham, as cousin and next heir, obt. 1539; the other has on it the figure of a man, and inscription for John Stace of Hollenden, last mentioned, who had three sons, John, George, Richard, and two daughters; John and Richard died before him, and he devised the above estate to George, as his sole heir, ob. 1591. A memorial for lady Anne Carte, ob. 1693; another for Sidney Carte, ob. 1582, æt. 13; another for Dorothy, third daughter of Mr. Joseph Carte, and lady Anne his wife, obt. 1684. On the south side is a mural monument for her: on the north side, a mural monument, shewing that in a vault lies Abraham Harrison, esq. owner of the manor of Hall-place, alias Hollenden, obt. 1718, and Elizabeth, his second wife, obt. 1718. Under the former monument is a brass plate, with an inscription for Stephen Towse, gent. who married Anne, widow of Richard Waller, esq. and owner of the manor above mentioned, obt. 1611. In the east window of the chancel are these arms, very antient, Or, three chevrons gules, and in a small circular window, over the former, are the arms of the Sidneys earls of Leicester. (fn. 6)
The patronage of this church, in the reign of king John, belonged to Sir John Canewe, (fn. 7) and it appears to have continued so in king Richard II.'s reign, in the 9th year of which, Sir John Chanewe de la Lye, otherwise called John Lye of Kent, attended, among others, John of Gaunt, king of Castile, in his voyage to Spain; (fn. 8) after which it was given to the priory of Tunbridge, which had been erected by Richard de Clare, about the end of the reign of king Henry I. King Edward III. July 23, in his 22d year, at the request of Ralph lord Stafford, granted licence to the prior and convent of Tunbridge to appropriate the church of Lyghe, of which they then possessed the advowson, to hold it so appropriated to them and their successors for ever. After which the prior and convent applied to Humo de Hethe, then bishop of Rochester, to confirm the appropriation of this church, the value of which, as it was then taxed, did not exceed twelve pounds of silver; at the same time they set forth the miserable state they were then in; their church and monastery, with all they had therein, having been burned to the ground, and they themselves reduced to great poverty. But the bishop dying before the appropriation was completed, they applied for the same purpose to his successor, bishop John de Shepey, who, by his instrument, in 1353, appropriated the same to the religious and their monastery, and annexed, united, and incorporated it, with all its rights and appurtenances, to their own proper uses, excepting the portion of the vicar, who should in future be placed in it, when it should become vacant, saving and reserving to the bishop, and his successors, canonical obedience from the prior and convent, on account of the church of Leghe, and the visitation and other rights of the church of Rochester and its bishop, and also the dues to the archdeacon of the place, as well of custom as right, and all other rights and customs whatsoever; and saving and reserving to himself and his successors, bishops of Rochester, by the express consent of the prior and convent, twenty shillings sterling, in the name of his procuration, for victuals and drink, for himself and his servants, as often as he and they should happen to visit the church of Leghe in ordinary; and he ordained, made, and created a perpetual vicarage, in the church; to which vicarage, when the religious should have obtained possession of it, and afterwards, whenever it should become vacant, he willed and ordained, that they should present a fit person, in due form of law, to him and his successors, bishops of Rochester, to be by him and them instituted in it. And he ordained and decreed, that the portion of the vicar and vicarage of this church should for ever consist of and in a competent house for him and his family, to be found and built for the first time at the cost of the religious, which should consist of only an hall, two chambers, a kitchen, and stable, and of one curtilage, all competent for his use; and of and in the following profits and obventions of this church, to the value of eight marcs of silver, to be wholly taken and received yearly by the vicar of it, viz. in spiritual oblations, made according to custom in the church; obventions and legacies, which were made at the altar; and in the tithes of flax, hemp, milk, butter, cheese, calves, wool, lambs, geese, ducks, pigs, eggs, wax, honey, apples, pears, pidgeons, fisheries, fowlings, huntings, and merchandising, of and in the whole parish of Leghe; also of and in the tithes of hay, herbage, and silva cedua, from the west and north part of the park of Penshurst, called Eshores-park, and from the said park, by the Medway, to the mill of Yensfield, and the way which leads from the said mill by the manse of John de Polle, and by the church yard of Leghe to the bridge, called Bittebregge, with the hay, herbage, and silva cedua of Holyndenne; so that the aforesaid vicar, for the time being, beyond the profits and obventions of the church, as aforesaid, which he willed him to take and receive entirely and wholly without deduction, for his portion, and for the entire and whole portion of his vicarage, which notoriously exceeded the sum of eight marcs, should claim nothing from the religious, or from the profits and obventions of this church, unless they, out of their especial bounty, should think fit to augment the same to him. And he ordained and decreed, that the above, valued at eight marcs, as aforesaid, should be the portion of the vicar and of the vicarage of this church in all future times; and that the vicar, for the time being, should wholly bear all burthens, ordinary and extraordinary whatsoever, incumbent on the church, as well those present and in future, as those which might newly arise from the time in which he should become vicar; and he reserved to himself and his successors, from the prior and convent of Tonebregge, as soon as they should have obtained full possession of this church, the annual pension of ten shillings sterling, to be paid by them at the feast of St. Michael yearly for ever, in the name of the cathedral church of Rochester, in recompence of any damage it might receive from the above appropriation; and he willed and ordained, that the vicar, for the time being, as a mark of his subjection, reverence, and honour, should pay annually four pounds of wax, in the name of an annual pension, on the Nativity of Our Lord, to the religious, the prior and convent of Tunbridge; and he willed and decreed, that if at any time the prior and convent should be desirious of granting to the vicar or vicarage any things which, in the judgment of the bishop or his successors, should be more useful to the vicar or vicarage than those which were originally assigned to him or it, that then, the vicar for the time being should be obliged to admit the same, and to allow in lieu of them so much of such things as had been originally assigned to him and his vicarage, equal in value to such as should be newly allotted to him, according to the discretion of the bishop and his successors, &c. all which was confirmed by the prior and chapter of Rochester, in their chapter house, at the same time. After which, the church of Leghe becoming vacant, by the resignation of Sir John Magham, rector of it, the prior and convent took full possession of it, by their proctor, Nicholas de Chilham, cannon and consreer of the priory, who in their name performed his canonical obedience for it, in the chamber of the bishop, at Trottesclive. In consequence of the above, the prior and convent built for the vicar a competent house, which falling down, and the ground on which it was built having been by the statute of Mortmain forfeited and seised on, the religious, by their indenture, in 1393. granted and agreed that Sir William Godard, then vicar of Leghe, should have three acres of the glebe of the rectory of that church, and of long time amortised to it, which land bounded east and south to the rest of the glebe of the rectory, west to a common pasture green, over which there was a way which led from the church of Leghe to the above rectory, and north to the king's highway, and also a competent mansion lately built on it, at the expence of the religious, to be possessed by him and his successors in the same for ever, all which was confirmed by William, bishop of Rochester, by his indenture, dated at Halling that year.
The church of Lyghe, together with the advowson of the vicarage, remained with the priory of Tunbridge till the suppression of it, in the 17th year of king Henry VIII. when this being one of those smaller monasteries, which cardinal Wolsey had obtained of the king, by his letters patent that year, for the endowment of his colleges, it was surrendered into the cardinal's hands with all the possessions belonging to it. After which the king granted his licence, in his 18th year, to Thomas, cardinal archbishop of York, &c. to appropriate, consolidate, and annex this church, among others of the cardinal's patronage, to the dean and canons of the college founded by the cardinal in the university of Oxford. (fn. 9) But here it staid only four years, when this great prelate being cast in a premunire, in 1529, all the estates of the college became forfeited to the king, and part of the royal revenue, where this rectory and the advowson staid till the 36th year of king Henry VIII. when the king, that year, in consideration of certain lands in Penshurst, granted to him, and his successors granted to Edward Frye, the manor of the rectory of Leigh, late belonging to the monastery of Tunbridge, and late parcel of the possessions of Thomas Wolsey, cardinal, attainted, and the patronage and advowson of the vicarage of Leigh, and the lands called Priors and Bougers, late in the possession of William Coke, late rector, as part of the said rectory, in as full and ample a manner as the king himself, or the monastery ever enjoyed them, which premises were of the clear yearly value of 10l. 3s. 4d. to hold to him and his heirs for ever, by the service of a twentieth part of a knight's see in capite, at the yearly rent of 3s. 4d. free of all other rents and outgoings whatsoever, except of a pension of ten shillings yearly, reserved to the bishop of Rochester and his successors, and of twenty shillings payable to the bishop and his successors at the time of his visitation every third year. (fn. 10) He died possessed of these premises next year, and Thomas Fry, his son, had possession granted of them, and in the 3d year of queen Elizabeth levied a fine of this rectory. In the 6th year of that reign he sold to Roger Cotton, gent. all those five acres of land in Tunbridge, and all those tithes in the ward of Holinden in Leygh, to the rectory of Leygh belonging, and all those tithes in a certain meadow, called Budlemead, and in another meadow, called Freresmead, in Tunbridge, belonging to the rectory, held of the king in capite. In the 17th of that reign he again levied a fine of this rectory, and soon afterwards alienated it, with the advowson of the vicarage, to Sir Henry Sidney, in whose successors, earls of Leicester, it continued down to earl Joceline, who died possessed of it, without lawful issue, in 1743; after which it came, in consequence of a compromise between Sir Brownlow Sherard, bart. and Mary his wife, and William Perry, esq. and Elizabeth his wife, the daughter and coheirs of colonel Thomas Sidney, the earl's elder brother, made in 1746, with Anne Sidney, the earl's natural daughter and devisee, under his will, (which compromise was confirmed by act of parliament) into the possession of the two former, in right of their wives, free from any further claim whatsoever from her.
Sir Brownlow Sherard, bart. died in 1748, without issue, possessed of this advowson, as part of his divided moiety of the above estates, leaving his wife surviving, who by her will, in 1758, gave it to Anne, widow of Sir William Yonge, bart. and K.B. for life, remainder to her eldest son, Sir George Yonge, bart. of Escot; and they, in 1770, joined in the sale of it to Thomas Harvey, esq. of Tunbridge, who died in 1779, and by his last will devised it to his second son, William Thomas Harvey, the present owner of it; but the rectory impropriate of Lyghe, consisting of the parsonage house, great tithes, and fifty acres of glebe, with their appurtenances, on the division of the Sidney estates, in 1747, was allotted to Mrs. Elizabeth Perry, as part of her separate moiety of them, and she continued in possession of it till her death, in 1783, when she gave it by her will to trustees, for the benefit of her eldest grandson, then an infant, John Shelley Sidney, esq. who is the present proprietor of it. In the 15th year of king Edward I. the church of Lega was valued at eighteen marcs.
By virtue of the commission of enquiry into the value of church livings, in 1650, it was returned, that in Leigh there was a parsonage distinct from the vicarage, the parsonage being impropriate, belonged to the earl of Leicester; that the vicarage was presentative; that the parsonage, with the tithes thereto belonging, was worth seventy pounds per annum, and the vicarage house and one acre and an half of ground and the tithes thereto belonging, were worth fiftyfour pounds per annum; that the earl of Leicester was proprietor of the parsonage, and master Rob. Antrobus then vicar. (fn. 11) The vicarage of Lyghe is valued in the king's books at 9l. 18s. 9d. and the yearly tenths at 19s. 10½d. (fn. 12) it is now worth about 150l. per annum. The vicar claims all kind of tithes, excepting corn. (fn. 13)
Sir John Canewe, patron of the church of Leghe, Richard Canewce, rector of it, and Aland de Ros, vicar of it, granted to Sir Thomas de Peneshurst and his heirs, with the consent of Benedict, bishop of Rochester, a free chapel for ever within his manor of Penshurst, yet within the bounds of this parish, to be served by its own proper chaplain, the said Thomas and his heirs, paying yearly two pounds of wax to the church of Leghe, as an acknowledgement of the rights of the mother church; and the said Thomas, for himself and his heirs, therein granted to the said church all the tenths of his fisheries belonging to the pool of his mill of Penshurst, or in any other fisheries, if any such should be erected by him or them in the said parish; and that the church of Leghe, as the mother church, should have all oblations yearly accruing from the mansion of Penshurst, on the four principal annual feasts, but that the rest of the oblations of the said mansion should remain to the said chapel, to be disposed of at the will of the lord, &c. all which was confirmed by Laurence, bishop, and the prior and chapter of Rochester. Afterwards Richard de Wendover, bishop of Rochester, in 1239, confirmed this chapel to Sir John Belemeyns, canon of St. Paul's, the patron of it, and his successors, saving the rights of the mother church of Leigh; and in 1249, he admitted and instituted Walter de Ferenche, chaplain in it, on the presentation of Sir John, and he decreed, that this chapel should be immediately subject to him, the bishop and his successors, and that the lord of the same manor, for the time being, whenever any vacancy should happen, should freely present another chaplain to it, to be admitted by the bishop and his successors. In which year the bishop likewise granted an indulgence of forty days remission from penance to all such, who on the anniversary of the dedication of this chapel, which had been dedicated by him, in honour of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Thomas the Martyr, should offer up their prayers at the altars of those saints, by him consecrated there; and the like at the altar below, consecrated by him in honour of the blessed confessors, St. Edward and St. Nicholas, and the like indulgence on the feasts of those saints for ever.
Stephen de Peneshurst, in the 11the year of king Edward I. for the health of his soul, of those of Royce and Margerie, his wives, &c. confirmed to Sir Tho. de Whitleney, chaplain, and his successors, serving in this chapel, in pure and perpetual alms, sixty acres of arable land, and six acres of wood, in the parish of Leghe, of which twenty acres lay in the land called Kingsland, and ten acres in Bernette, and twentynine acres in two fields, called Hothfeldes, at Sinderhulle, and one acre called Le Marlere, lying near the messuage, once Henry de la Sindurle, and six acres of wood in the woods called Gromenerede and Blakegrove; and he granted to him, in like manner, one messuage and eight acres of land, and one acre of meadow in Peneshurst, and two acres and a half of meadow in Chidingstone, and fifty acres of land in Tunbridge, in two fields, called Hegheden and Martins land, which lands and tenements last mentioned, were formerly assigned to the chapel, by Sir John Belemeyns, his uncle, in the reign of king Henry; and he further granted to him, in like manner, one hundred and four acres of land, with their appurtenances, which he had purchased of Sir Hugh de Gerunde, in Eshurst, he and they performing the due and accustomed services to the said Hugh, and all oblations and obventions accruing in the chapel, excepting on the four principal feasts of the year, and such of the obventions as had been reserved to the mother church at the institution of the chapel, as above mentioned.
And he granted to him and his successors in like manner, the free grinding of his and their corn in the mill of his manor of Peneshurst, without payment of toll, and free pasture for four cows and two sows and six hogs, in common with those of him and his heirs, in the pasture of the manor of Peneshurst for ever, and that the swine should be free from the payment of pannage between the feasts of St. Michael and St. Martin. For which grant the chaplain and his successors were to serve in the chapel, himself and another chaplain to be associated with him, at the choice of him and his successors, and one competent clerk, &c.
William, bishop of Rochester, in 1393, at the request of dame Margaret, relict of Sir John Devereux, lately then deceased, and on consideration of the distance of the parish church of Leghe, granted his licence to Sir Thomas, perpetual chaplain of the great chapel within the manor of Penshurst in the said parish, to celebrate divine service in it before the said lady, her sons and daughters, and their whole family, and to hear the consessions of them, and all others, inhabitants within those manors, desirous of consessing to him, and to enjoin pennance and give absolution, as the case required, excepting in those matters reserved to himself and his successors, and saving always the rights and custom of the mother church of Leigh.
This chapel was suppressed by the act of the 1st year of king Edward VI. and the revenues of it seised into the king's hands, at which time they were valued by the king's commissioners at 6l. 5s. per annum. (fn. 14)
In 1219 the parishioners of Leghe dwelling in the hamlet of Betburgh in this parish, being much incommoded by the length and badness of the way to Legh, and the inundation that frequently happened, petitioned the patron and rector of Legh, to have, with the consent of the bishop, a chantry in the chapel in that hamlet, and a chaplain to celebrate there on Sundays and festivals, and such other days as they used to go to the church of Legh, which being granted, the bishop directed, that they should have a chaplain as rector to celebrate there as aforesaid, who should be presented by the lord, and with the consent of the rector of Legh, should take and receive all tithes, great and small, oblations, and subventions, arising in that hamlet, which were estimated at forty shillings, the tenants paying twelve pence annually to the church of Leghe, on the day of the dedication, and the chaplain making his canonical obedience to the bishop and archdeacon, and paying to the latter twelve pence for his visitation; and he likewise directed, that the parishioners should, from time to time, provide books, ornaments, and other incumbent necessaries for the chapel, whenever such should be wanting. At the same time the lord of Legh endowed this chapel with ten acres of land and eighteen pence annual rent; all which was confirmed by Thomas, bishop of Rochester, at his visitation of the deanry of Malling, on the hearing a dispute which had arisen between Roger de Stoneville, rector of this chapel, and his parishioners, on account of their detention of the tithes, oblations, &c. and the want of vestments, books, &c.
Church Of Lyghe.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Sir John Canewce.||Richard Canewce, in the reign of king John. (fn. 15)|
|Prior and Convent of Tunbridge.||John Magham, resigned 1353. (fn. 16)|
|William Godard, in 1393. (fn. 17)|
|Family of Sidney||Zachariah Taylor, about 1630. (fn. 18)|
|Robert Antrobus, in 1650. (fn. 19)|
|Joseph Cart, A.M. ob. Decemb. 1706. (fn. 20)|
|John Cart, presented 1706.|
|James Marshbourn, A.M. obt. Dec. 11, 1739. (fn. 21)|
|Philip Marshbourn, A. M. 1740. (fn. 22)|
|Dickson Lillington, 1758, D. D. Present vicar.|