Parishes: Delting

Pages 353-359

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.

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


In this section


THE next parish eastward from Boxley is Detling, written in antient records, Detlinges.

The VILLAGE of Detling is situated at the foot of the chalk hills, the turnpike road from Maidstone, over the hill here, to Key-street and Sittingborne, leading through it; the manor of East and West court are situated in it, the church stands near the west side of it. This street seems antiently to have been called Polley-street, from the family of that name, which had its original here, where they resided, and were antiently written Polley, alias Polhill, the direct descendant of them, being Charles Polhill, esq. of Chipsted, and there are yet lands in this parish called Polley fields. The soil of this parish, upon and below the hill, consists in general of chalk, and is very poor and unfertile; in the south west part of it there is much coppice wood; above the hill it is equally poor, con sisting of a cold red unfertile earth, intermixed with quantities of flints. In the whole it is an unfrequented parish, and would be more so, and but little known, was it not for the turnpike road through it. The air is very healthy, but the chalky stony soil makes it exceedingly unpleasant either to dwell in or to pass through it.

THIS PLACE is said to have been part of the antient possessions of the archbishopric of Canterbury, and to have continued so till the time of the conquest, when Odo, bishop of Baieux and earl of Kent, the king's half brother, by his great power, wrested it from the church; but archbishop Lanfranc, soon after his coming to the see, recovered this manor, among others, in that noted assembly of the whole county, at Pinendenheath, in 1076, being the 11th of the Conqueror's reign.

It appears, by the inquisition taken throughout England, in the 12th and 13th years of king John, and delivered in by the several sheriffs to the king's treasurer, that Detling was then in the possession of a family who took their surname from it; and that William de Detling then held it of the archbishop of Canterbury by knight's service, as half a knight's fee. In memory of this family, Philipott says, there was once, for there is not now even a report of its having been there, a massy lance, wreathed all over with a thin iron plate, preserved in this church, like that of William the Conqueror at Battle, in Sussex, of the Peches at Lullingstone, in this county, the Carewes at Beddington, in Surry, and several others, as the very spear by them used, and deposited here as a memorial of their atchievments in arms, and an emblem of their extraordinary strength and abilities; and there is now in it the bust of a man on a piece of antient grave stone, which is reported to have belonged to the monument of Sir John Detling.

The family of Detling afterwards assumed the surname likewise of Brampton, being written in old deeds, Brampton, alias Detling, of Detling court, where they resided till the beginning of king Henry IV.'s reign, when John Brampton, alias Detling, leaving an only daughter and heir, Benedicta, she carried this manor in marriage to Thomas-at-Towne, of Towne's-place, in Throwley, who died likewise without male issue, leaving three daughters his coheirs. On the partition of whose inheritance, about the 24th year of Henry VI. this manor was allotted to Eleanor, the eldest, wife of Rich. Lewknor, who in her right enjoyed it. He alienated it not long after to Sir Richard de Wydevill, or Woodvill, as he was commonly called, who was created by Henry VI. in his 26th year, lord Rivers, &c. and afterwards knight of the Garter, (fn. 1) and earl Rivers; four years after which, whilst at his seat at Grafton, near Northampton, he was seized by a tumultuous crowd of people, who had assembled themselves in favour of king Henry, and was put to death by them. His eldest son, Anthony lord Scales, after the death of Edward IV. was seized on by the dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham as he was attending the young king towards London, and being hurried away to Pontefract, was there beheaded; leaving no legitimate issue, Richard his brother succeeded him in honours and estates, which king Richard however did not suffer him to enjoy, but made a grant of this manor, among the rest of this earl's lands in this county, in his 1st year, to Robert Brakenbury, esq. on whom he at the same time conferred the office of constable of the Tower, and other favours, for his good services to him. His pedigree, drawn from antient evidences in his custody, in 1594, is among the Harleian manuscripts. This family bore for their arms, Argent, three bends and a chief sable, on the chief a lion passant guardant or. On the accession of king Henry VII. he was attainted of high treason, and his estates became confiscated to the crown; soon after which this manor, which had been before alienated to Richard Lewknor, esq. who before had some estate here, was confirmed by the king to him, and his only daughter and heir carried it in marriage to George Hilles, on whose death, without male issue, his two daughters became his coheirs; one of whom married Martin, and the other Vincent; they divided this manor into separate moieties, each of which, from that time, became a distinct manor; one of which, called East-court, was allotted to Martin; and the other called West-court, to Vincent, in right of their respective wives.

The MANOR of EAST-COURT was alienated in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign to John Webbe, gent. who resided here; from which name it passed by sale in the reign of king James I. to Smith; and he, in the next reign of king Charles I. conveyed it to Sir Edward Henden, one of the barons of the exchequer, who devised it by his will to his nephew, Sir John Henden, of Biddenden; and he, in Charles II.'s reign, passed it away by sale to Sir John Beale, bart. of Farningham; who died in 1684, leaving two daughters his coheirs; on the partition of whose inheritance, this manor fell to the share of the youngest, married to William Emmerton, esq. of Chipsted, who sold it to Francis Foote, esq. of Veryan, in Cornwall, where his family had possessed lands for some generations. He left by Mary, daughter of Benjamin Hatley, esq. whose arms were, Azure, a sword in bend, between two mullets or, two sons, Benjamin Hatley and Francis Hender, and a daughter, since married to Mr. Pearson, and was succeeded in this manor by his eldest son, Benjamin Hatley Foote, esq. who married Mary, one of the daughters of Robert Mann, esq. of Linton, by whom he had two sons, Geo. Talbot Hatley; and John Foote, now a banker in London, who married the daughter of Mr. Joseph Martin, of London, banker, deceased. He bore for his arms, Vert, a chevron argent, between three doves or; on his death, in 1791, his son, Geo. Talbot Harley Foote, became possessed of it, and is the present proprietor of it.

The MANOR of WEST-COURT, in the possession of Vincent, was alienated to Mr. William Moreton, of White-horse, in Croydon, who was possessed of it in the reign of Philip and Mary, in whose family it continued at the Restoration, (fn. 2) in 1660; after which the manor and great part of this estate (for there was a share of it which came to and continued some time in the name of Price) passed through some intermediate owners till it came into the possession of Tho. Borrett, esq. of Shoreham, in this county; formerly one of the prothonotaries of the common pleas, who died in 1751; and his heirs, about the year 1766, passed it away by sale to Benjamin Hatley Foote, esq. owner likewise of East-court, as above mentioned; so that these two divided manors are now united in the same owner, his son, Geo. Talbot Hatley Foote, esq. being the present possessor of them both.

A court baron is regularly held for the manor of Detling, the jurisdiction of which extends over the manor of Henkhurst in Staplehurst.


ONE of the family of Polhill gave the sum of 3s. 4d. yearly to the minister, and the like to the clerk, and the same to the poor, chargeable on land, vested in William Stacey Coast, esq. now of the annual product of 10s.

DETLING is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury and deanry of Sutton.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Martin, is a small building, with a low pointed steeple, and is situated at the south west end of the village. It was antiently esteemed but as a chapel of ease to the church of Maidstone, which was of the patronage of the see of Canterbury.

The rectory of the church of Maidstone, with the chapels of Loose and Detling annexed, was appropriated by archbishop Courtney, with the king's licence, in the 19th year of king Richard II. to his new founded college of All Saints, in Maidstone; but the patronage of the advowson of them, the archbishop reserved to himself and his successors; in which state they remained till archbishop Cranmer, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. exchanged the advowson and patronage of the church of Maidstone, and chapels annexed, with the king, among other premises. Upon the dissolution of the above college, in the 1st year of king Edward VI. the rectory, as well as the advowson of the said church and chapels, becoming vested in the crown, the church of Maidstone was left, through the king's favour, to the inhabitants of that town and parish; and that, as well as the chapels of Detling and Loose, were served by curates nominated by the king, whose stipends were paid by the king's lessee of the great tithes or rectories of these parishes; at which time the barn, tenths, and glebe of the parish of Detling, were valued at 7l. 6s. 8d. per annum; and the stipend paid to the curate of this church, by the archbishop's lessee of the tithes, was 2l. 13s. 4d.

Queen Elizabeth, in her 6th year, granted the reversion of the rectory of the several parishes of Maidstone, Detling, and Loose, then in lease to Christopher Roper, esq. to Matthew archbishop of Canterbury, in exchange; since which it has continued part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury to the present time.

The reader will observe, that the church of Detling was in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign esteemed as a curacy only; when it was first accounted a vicarage, as it is at this time, I do not find; but it was before the year 1643, when the sequestrators of arch bishop Laud's revenue craved the allowance of 2l. 13s. 4d. being the yearly pension paid by the archbishop to the vicar of Detling.

Archbishop Juxon, in obedience to the king's directions, made an addition of 7l. 6s. 8d. to the vicar's former salary; since which, by the will of archbishop Tenison, in 1715, it has been augmented with the sum of 200l. and by queen Anne's bounty again, which produces the yearly sum of sixteen pounds.

This church is exempted from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon of Canterbury. The vicarage is a discharged living in the king's books, of the clear yearly certified value of 30l.


Or by whom presented.
Archbishops of Canterbury William Sutton, in 1643. (fn. 3)
Charles German, obt. Aug. 1704.
John Martin, resig. 1718. (fn. 4)
Francis Muriell, A.M. 1718, ob. July 1750. (fn. 5)
Christopher Thomas, 1750.
Thomas Baker, inst. February 20, 1764, obt. Feb. 1779. (fn. 6)
William Polhill, pres. Ap. 1779, resigned. (fn. 7)
Denny Martin Fairfax, D.D. Present vicar.


  • 1. See more of him, under the Mote, in Maidstone.
  • 2. Philipott, p. 131. Cole's Entries, p. 589.
  • 3. MSS. E. H.
  • 4. He resigned this on being made vicar of St. Clement's, in Sandwich.
  • 5. And rector of Rucking.
  • 6. And rector of Frinsted.
  • 7. He was before vicar of Linton, which he resigned on taking this vicarage.