Parishes: Boughton Monchensie

Pages 336-345

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.

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LIES the next parish northward from Hedcorne. It is written in Domesday, Boltone; in later records, Bocton, and sometimes West Bocton; and now usually Boughton. It has the addition of Monchensie, (commonly pronounced Monchelsea) to it from the family of that name, antiently possessors of it, and to distinguish it from the other parishes of the same name within this county; and it is sometimes called, in the neighbourhood of it, Boughton Quarry, from the large quarries of stone within it.

THIS PARISH lies upon the lower or southern ridge, commonly called the Quarry hills, which cross it, the summit of them being the northern boundary of the Weald, so much therefore of this parish as is below it is within that district. The church stands about half way down of the hill southward, and close to the churchyard is the antient mansion of Boughton-place, pleasantly situated, having an extensive prospect southward over the Weald, in a park well wooded and watered; from hence the parish extends into the Weald, towards that branch of the Medway which flows from Hedcorne towards Style-bridge and Yalding, over a low deep country, where the soil is a stiff clay like that of Hedcorne before-described. Northward from Boughtonplace, above the hill, the parish extends over Cocksheath, part of which is within its bounds, on the further side of it is a hamlet called Boughton-green, and beyond it the seat of Boughton-mount, the grounds of which are watered by the stream, which rises near Langley park, and having lost itself under ground, rises again in the quarries here, and flowing on through Lose, to which this parish joins here, joins the Medway a little above Maidstone. These large and noted quarries, usually known by the name of Boughton quarries, are of the Kentish rag-stone, of which the soil of all this part of the parish, as far as the hills above-mentioned consists, being covered over with a fertile loam, of no great depth. At the end of Cocksheath eastward is the hamlet of Cock-street, usually called, from a public-house in it, Boughton Cock, when the soil becomes a red earth, much mixed with rotten flints; a little to the southward of which, at the edge of the heath is the parsonage, with some coppice wood adjoining, and on the brow of the hill, at the eastern bounds of the parish, the seat of Wiarton, having an extensive prospect over the Weald.

THIS PARISH was part of those possessions given by William the Conqueror, on his accession to the crown of England, to his half-brother Odo, bishop of Baieux, whom he likewise made earl of Kent, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in the survey of Domesday, taken about the year 1080:

Hugh, grandson of Herbert, holds of the bishop of Baieux Boltone. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is nothing. But five villeins have five carucates there, and two acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of twenty hogs. There is a church. In the time of king Edward the Consessor, and afterwards, it was worth eight pounds, now six pounds. Alunin held it of earl Goduine.

Four years after the taking the above-mentioned survey, the bishop of Baieux was disgraced, and all his possessions were consiscated to the crown.

After which, this manor came into the possession of the family of Montchensie, called in Latin records, De Monte Canisio, the principal seat of which was at Swanscombe, in this county. (fn. 1) William, son of William de Montchensie, who died anno 6 king John, was possessed of this manor, and it appears that he survived his father but a few years, for Warine de Montchensie, probably his uncle, succeeded to his whole inheritance in the 15th year of that reign. Soon after which this manor passed into the possession of the family of Hougham, of Hougham, in this county.

Robert de Hougham died possessed of it in the 41st year of king Henry III. as did his descendant of the same name in the 10th year of Edward II. without male issue, leaving a daughter Benedicta, who carried her interest in this estate in marriage to John de Shelving, of Shelvingbourne, and he died in the 4th year of Edward III. leaving his wife Benedicta surviving, who in the 20th year of that reign paid respective aid for this manor, which the heirs of Robert de Hougham then held at West Bocton of Hugh de Vere. She died in the 22d year of that reign; after which this name expired in two daughters and coheirs, one of whom, Helen, was married to John de Bourne; and the other Joan, to John Brampton, alias Detling, of Detlingcourt, who entitled their husbands to their respective rights in this manor. Robert Bourne died possessed of one part of it in the 42d year of king Edward III. which his daughter and heir carried in marriage to Edmund Haut, of Haut's-place, in Petham, who possessed it in the 8th year of king Henry IV. in which year he was sheriff. His descendant alienated it before the end of king Henry VI.'s reign to Reginald Peckham, esq. who was then in possession of it, as appears by an old court-roll of that time.

The other, and by far the greatest part of this manor, on the death of John Brampton, alias Detling, abovementioned, descended to his daughter Benedicta, who carried it in marriage to Thomas at Towne, of Townesplace, in Throwley, and he died likewise without male issue, leaving his three daughters his coheirs; one of whom, Benedicta, the second, carried this part in marriage to William Watton, esq. of Addington, who at the latter end of king Henry VI.'s reign, conveyed it by sale to Reginald Peckham, esq. above-mentioned, owner of the other part of this manor, who by this purchase became then sole lord of the whole of it. His grandson Thomas Peckham, esq. died in the 12th year of Henry VIII. and devised it at his death to his daughter, who carried it in marriage to Harpur, who presently afterwards alienated it to Sir Thomas Wiatt, as he did to Robert Rudston, esq. who was the son of Sir John Rudston, of London, lord mayor in 1528, whose father, Walter Rudston, was of Hatton, in Yorkshire. They bore for their arms, Argent, three bulls heads erased sable. In the 2d and 3d year of king Edward VI. he procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled, by the act then passed for this purpose. But having engaged with Sir Thomas Wyatt in his unfortunate rebellion, in the 1st year of queen Mary, he was, among others, found guilty, and condemned to be executed: which sentence the queen was pleased to respite, (fn. 2) and in the 1st year of queen Elizabeth he was by act restored in blood, and to his possessions likewise, and resided at this manor, the mansion of which he made great additions to. Isaac, his eldest son, succeeded him in this manor, and left an only daughter and heir Anne, married to Samuel Michel, esq. of Old Windsor, on which it came, by the entail of his father's will, to Belknap Rudston his brother, who dying s. p. devised it by his will in 1613 to Sir Francis Barnham, of Hollingborne, the eldest son of Sir Martin Barnham, of London, by his second wife, His first wife, Anne Rudston, by whom he had only two daughters, being Sir Barnham's sister.

Sir Francis Barnham, resided at Hollingborne. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sampson Lennard, esq. of Chevening, sister of Henry, lord Dacre, by whom he had fifteen children; of whom, Robert, the second, but eldest surviving son, was seated at Boughton Monchensie, and was created a baronet in 1663. He was succeeded in title and estate by Sir Robert Barnham, bart. his grandson (son of Francis Barnham, esq. who died in his father's life-time in 1668) who left an only daughter and heir, Philadelphia, who carried this manor in marriage to Thomas Rider, esq. These Riders seem to be descended from those of Low Layton, in Essex, their arms being the same, viz. Azure, three crescentsor; of which family was Sir William Rider, lordmayor of London anno 42 Elizabeth. (fn. 3) — His eldest son, Sir Barnham Rider, succeeded his father in this manor, and resided here. He died in 1728, and was succeeded by his only son Thomas, afterwards Sir Thomas Rider, who resided at Boughton-place, where he kept his shrievalty in 1754. He died unmarried in 1786, upon which this manor came by his will to his first cousin Ingram Rider, esq. whonow resides here.

WIARTON-HOUSE is a seat in the eastern part of this parish, which antiently gave name and residence to a family, possessors of it. Adam de Wiarton possessed it in the reign of king Henry III. and his descendants continued owners of it until the latter end of the reign of Richard II. when one of them alienated it to Robert Purse, whose son of the same name died possessed of it in 1452, and was buried in this church, having been a good benefactor to it, by new building the belsry and north isle of it, and his portrait in painted glass in the window over the place of his interment, remained entire till the civil wars of king Charles I's reign, when it was broken to pieces, all but one hand holding out a purse, put up in allusion to his name. His son alienated this seat to Richard Norton, whose wife Margaret dying in 1507, lies interred under the seat in this church belonging to Wiarton-house; in which name it continued till the reign of king James I when it was sold to Sir Anthony St.Leger, master of the rolls in Ireland, and privy counsellor, the third son of Sir Anthony St.Leger, of Ulcombe, in this county, lord deputy of Ireland. He left an only son, Sir Anthony St. Leger, who succeeded him in this seat, in which he resided in the reign of king Charles I. After whose death his heirs alienated it to Nathaniel Powell, esq. of Ewhurst, in Sussex, descended from John Powell, esq. of Ednop, in Salop, whose son Meredith Powell, of Brampton Rals, in Somersershire, was father of Nathaniel Powell, esq. created a baronet in 1663, and purchaser of this seat, who likewise resided here; whose eldest son, Barnham Powell, esq. dying in his life-time, Sir Nathaniel Powell, his eldest son, succeeded his grandfather here, and died unmarried in 1708, and was succeeded by his only surviving brother, Sir Christopher Powell, bart. who resided at Wierton, and in 1734 was chosen knight of the shire for this county. He bore for his arms two coats quarterly, 1st and 4th Gules, a lion rampant regardant, or; 2d and 3d, Argent, three boars heads couped, sable. He died possessed of it in 1742, s. p. leaving his widow, daughter of Mr.Newington, surviving, whose trustees sold this seat after her death, pursuant to the uses created in Sir Christopher's will, to Mr.John Briscoe, gent. of London, who rebuilt it on the brow of the hill, at a small distance southward from the former scite of it, and then alienated it in 1771 to Willshire Emmett, esq. who served the office of sheriff in 1774, and bears for his arms, Party per pale, azure and sable; a fess ermine between three bulls heads caboshed or; and now resides here.

After residing here for some years, he alienated this seat with the estate belonging to it, to John May, esq. of Holborough in Snodland, the present owner of it; but it is now uninhabited.

The borough of Wiarton is within the manor of Newington, near Sittingborne; the rents due to which are from the freeholders holding within it, in free socage tenure.

HOLBROOK is a reputed manor here, which formerly belonged to a family of the name of Halbrook, as appears by several old deeds and court-rolls; and bore, as is evident from several old registers of arms, Azure, a plain cross, between four mullets or, frettee of the first; who having continued owners of it for several descents, became extinct here about the beginning of king Henry V.'s reign, when it came into the possession of William Haut, esq. of Bishopsborne, whose descendant, Sir William Haut, in the reign of Henry VIII. left two daughters and coheirs, of whom Jane, the youngest, married Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allingtoncastle, who in her right became possessed of it, and at the latter end of king Edward VI.'s reign, with her consent alienated, it to Simon Smyth, of Buckland, near Maidstone, in whose descendants it continued down to John Smyth, esq whose widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Smyth, is now possessed of it.

BOUGHTON MOUNT, formerly called Wychden, is a seat in this parish, situated on the opposite or northern side of Cocksheath, near the parish of Loose.

This seat, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, was the property of John Alchorne, of Aylesford, son of Robert, the grandson of John de Alchorne, or Ulchorne, of Ulchorne in Uckfield, in Sussex. They bore for their arms, Argent, a stag's head caboshed, a chief indented sable. In the descendants of John Alchorne, the purchaser of this seat, it continued down to his grandson of the same name, who leaving an only daughter Anne, she carried this estate in marriage to John Savage, gent. of Lions-inn, descended from the Savages, of Blexworth, in Dorsetshire, a branch of those of Rock Savage, in Cheshire. He had by her two sons, Richard, who died on his travels, at Prague, in Bohemia, in 1669; and John Savage, esq. who succeeded to this seat in 1726, and was appointed sheriff of this county, but died on April 9, that year, and was succeeded here by his son, Richard Savage, esq. whose widow, daughter of Mr. Gulston, survived him, and died in 1780, upon which this seat, according to her late husband's will, became the property of the two daughters and coheirs of his late sister, married to Benjamin Hubble, esq. of Town Malling, one of whom is married to Mr. Douce, and they are the present possessors of it; but it is now occupied by E.J.Foote, esq. of the royal navy.


WILLIAM REIFFGINS, a German, gave by will in 1613, 4l. per annum to the poor of this parish, for 34 years; 60l. to be velled in land for the like use for ever. A purchase was consequently made of land in the parish of Chart Sutton, which is vested in trustees, and is now of the annual rent of 31.

The poor relieved here constantly are about thirty in number, casually twenty-five.

BOUGHTON MONCHENSIE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sutton.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter, is a small building, having a handsome square tower at the west end.

This church was given to the priory of Leeds, soon after the foundation of it by Henry de Bocton, and was afterwards appropriated to it, with the licence of the archbishop, before the reign of king Richard II. at which time the parsonage of it was valued at ten pounds, and the vicarage of it at four pounds yearly income, (fn. 4) both which remained part of the possessions of the priory till the dissolution of it in the reign of king Henry VIII. when it came, with the rest of the possessions of that house, into the king's hands, who by his dotation-charter in his 33d year, settled both the parsonage and advowson of the church of Bocton on his new-erected dean and chapter of Rochester, part of whose possessions they now remain.

The lessee of the parsonage is Mrs. Eliz. Smith; but the presentation to the vicarage, the dean and chapter reserve to themselves.

On the abolition of deans and chapters, after the death of king Charles I. this parsonage was surveyed by order of the state in 1649, when it was returned, that it consisted of the scite, which, with the tithes, was worth 56l. 3s. 4d. that the glebe land of twenty-nine acres and two roods was worth 8l. 16s. 8d. per annum, both improved rents; which premises were let anno 14 Charles I. to Sir Edward Hales, knight and baronet, by the dean and chapter, for twenty one years, at the yearly rent of 13l. 10s. The lessee to repair the chancel of the parish church, and the advowson was excepted by the dean and chapter out of the lease.

The vicarage is valued in the king's books at 7l. 13s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 15s. 4d. per annum. In 1640 it was valued at sixty pounds per annum. Communicants, 177. In 1649 it was surveyed, with the parsonage, by order of the state, and valued at thirty pounds per annum, clear yearly income. (fn. 5)

The vicar of this church in 1584, but his name I have not found, was deprived for non-conformity; though he was so acceptable to the parishioners, that they, to the number of fifty-seven, made a petition to the lord treasurer, to restore their minister to them.

Church of Boughton Monchensie.

Or by whom presented.
Alanus Styward, anno 6 Richard II. (fn. 6)
John Walker, in 1492. (fn. 7)
William Grave, 1503. (fn. 7)
John Hawksworth, in 1517. (fn. 7)
William Nicholson, A.M. March 18,1580.
Lowen Wood, May 8, 1582.
Henry Disborow, obt. 1615.
Francis Caycott, A.M. June 27, 1615.
Matthew Rutton, obt. 1686. (fn. 8)
John Cromp, A.M. July, 1686, obt. 1719. (fn. 9)
Samuel Pratt, A.B. Nov.1719, obt. 1722.
George Pratt, A.M. June 25, 1722, obt.March 11, 1747. (fn. 10)
Dean and Chapter of Rochester. . . John Lawry, A.M. 1747, resigned 1755. (fn. 11)
Peter Wade, A.M. 1755, obt. Sept. 1783. (fn. 12)
James Andrews, 1783, the present vicar.


  • 1. See Swanscombe, vol. ii. of this history, p. 404.
  • 2. Rym Fœd. vol. xv. p. 373. See Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 80.
  • 3. See Morant's Essex, vol. i. p. 23.
  • 4. Regist. of Leeds priory. Stev. Mon. vol. i. p. 40.
  • 5. Parl. Surveys, Lambeth-library, vol. xiv.
  • 6. Cart. Antiq. E.H.
  • 7. Wills, Prerog. off. Cant.
  • 8. See Boys's Sandwich, pt. i. p. 273.
  • 9. Prebendary of Rochester.
  • 10. Also curate of Chatham. He was son of dean Pratt, and lies buried in Rochester cathedral.
  • 11. And by a dispensation in 1747 rector of Lee. He afterwards resigned this vicarage for that of Aylesford. He was likewise a prebendary of Rochester, and died in 1773.
  • 12. In 1768, by dispensation rector of Cowling, also a minor canon of Rochester cathedral.