Parishes: Chart Sutton

Pages 352-364

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

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THE next parish southward from Langley is Chart Sutton, or as it should be more properly called, Chart by Sutton, written in Domesday, Certh.

THIS PARISH is but small, the lower or southern ridge of Quarry-hills divides the upper and lower parts of it, the latter is in the district of the Weald, where the country is low and flat, abounding with broad hedge rows, filled with large and spreading oaks. It is exceeding wet and miry in winter, the soil being a deep stiff elay. At the foot of the hill there rises a stream, which having turned a mill, flows from thence southward across this parish, till it joins the branch of the Medway just above Herefeed-bridge; on and about the hill the soil consists of the quarry-stone, thinly covered with a loam, being exceedingly fertile for corn, fruit, and hops. Just above the summit of the hill is the village and church, with Chart-place adjoining to the church-yard; beyond which northward the soil becomes less fertile, being a hungry red earth mixed with flints, which continues till it joins the parish of Langley.

The mention made in the record of Domesday of the three arpends of vineyard in this parish, ought not to be passed by unnoticed here, this being one of several instances of there having been vineyards in this county in very early times. I mean plantations of the grapevine; for I can by no means acquiese in the conjecture, that Vineæ universally meant plantations of apples and pears, at least so far as relates to this county, where the latter were not introduced at the time, nor for some time after the taking of the survey of Domesday. This opinion is further confirmed by the instance of Hamo, bishop of Rochester, who, when Edward II. in his 19th year, was at Bokinsold, in this county, sent that prince a gift both of wine and grapes, from his vineyard at Halling, near Rochester, the episcopal palace where he then resided. These vineyards being likewise measured by the arpend, the same measure that they usually were in France, shews that when the vine was brought from thence and cultivated here, the same kind of measure was continued to the plantations of them, a measure different from that of any other kind of land. Sir Robert Atkins, in his History of Gloucestershire, has indeed given two instances from records in the reigns of king John and king Edward II. to prove the contrary, which might suit exceeding well with the language of his countrymen, and the bleak county of Gloucester, where the grape-vine had never been seen, and the only beverage was that of the apple and pear, which they had dignisified with the appellation of wine. In my memory there have been two exceeding fine vineyards in this county, one at Tunbridgecastle, and the other at Hall-place, in Barming, near Maidstone, from which quantities of exceeding good and well-flavored wine have been produced. This parish of Chart, among others in the same situation, on the side of the quarry hills, is peculiarly adapted to the planting of vines, as well from the warm and nutritive quality of the soil, as its genial aspect, being entirely sheltered from the north and east, and facing the south on the declivity of the hill.

CHART was part of those possessions given by William the Conqueror to his half-brother Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in that record.

The same Adam Fitz Hubert holds of the bishop of Baieux, Certh. It was taxed at three sulings. The arable land is eight carucates. In demesne there is one, and twenty villeins, with five borderers having six carucates. There is a church and eight servants, and six acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of fifty hogs. There are three arpends of vineyard, and a park of beasts of the forest. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, and now, it was and is worth twelve pounds. Alnod Cilt held it.

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

This estate afterwards became the property of Baldwin de Betun, earl of Albermarle, likewise lord of the manor of Sutton Valence, to which this estate seems to have been accounted an appendage, and it afterwards continued with it, in a like succession of ownership, down to Sir Christopher Desbouverie, who soon after his coming into the possession of it in 1708, on a spot which he had purchased of others, on which there was then only a mean cottage, built for himself a mansion near the church here, where he afterwards resided. (fn. 1) He died possessed of it in 1733, leaving two sons, who both died without issue, and also two daughters, who became their brother's heirs, and on the partition of their inheritance in 1752, this manor was, among others in this neighbourhood, allotted to the share of the youngest, Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, now of Teston, who continues owner of it.

NORTON-PLACE is an antient manor and mansion in this parish, though now and for many years since made use of only as a farm-house, situated about half a mile northward from Chart-place. It was antiently the property and residence of the family of Norton, to whom it gave name; and in the south windows of this church there were formerly the essigies of Stephen Norton, who lived in king Richard II.'s reign, with his arms, Argent, a chevron between three crescents azure, on his tabard or surcoat, and Philipott says that he had found in a tournament of the Kentish gentlemen one of this name, in a tabard of the arms above-mentioned, encountering one Christmas, of East Sutton, not far distant, who was in like manner habited in a surcoat charged with his arms, expressive of his name, viz. Gules, upon a bend sable, three wassail bowls, or; which coat was likewise depicted in the south windows of Sutton church. But the partitions inherent to gavelkind, so diminished the patrimony of this family, that in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and afterwards, they were obliged to sell off several parts of it at different times, all which came at length into the possession of Sir Ed ward Hales, created a baronet in 1611, whose grandson and heir of the same name in 1660 purchased of the two coheirs of the family of Norton, married to Denne and Underwood, the seat itself, with the remainder of the land belonging to it, by a fine then levied by them and their husbands for that purpose. His trustees about the year 1670, conveyed it, with the manor of Sutton Valence and Chart before-mentioned, and sundry other premises, to Sir William Drake, of Amersham, with which it was in like manner sold, about the year 1708, to Sir Christopher Desbouverie, whose daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, of Teston, after the death of her two brothers, and a partition of her father's estates between herself and her sister, is now entitled to it.

WALTERS-FOLLY, in the den of Ivetigh, now vulgarly called THE FOLLY, is an estate situated in the southern part of this parish, about a mile below the summit of the hill. It was antiently the property of the family of Ivetigh, antiently spelt Evythye, who implanted their name on it, as they did on other lands in this parish, still called by their name; and though the deeds of this estate, which mention them as possessors of it, do not reach higher than the reign of king Henry VI. yet, undoubtedly, they were owners of it long before.

In the above-mentioned reign, however, this estate was alienated by one of that name to Robert Mascall, who died possessed of it in the 4th year of Edward IV. By his will, dated Nov. 25, that year, he willed his body to be buried in the church yard of this parish. He devised 6s. 8d. towards the pavement of the church, and to the leading of it twenty shillings; all his lands and tenements to his wife, for her life, remainder to his son Thomas, his daughter Elizabeth mentioned in it. His son Thomas Mascall resided here, and some years after his father's death sold it to Wm. Lambe, who changed the name of it to Lambden; in his descendants, who bore for their arms, Sable, on a fess or, two mullets of the field, between three cinquefoils ermine, it continued till it was at length sold to Perry, descended from those of Worcestershire, and it remained in that name till the reign of king Charles I. when Mr. James Perry, of Lenham, dying s.p. his three daughters, Elizabeth, married to Mr. Thomas Petley, of Filston; Anne and Mary became his coheirs, and entitled to this estate, which they afterwards joined in the sale of to Walter, who rebuilt the house on it, which afterwards gained the name of Walter's folly; from one of his descendants it was purchased, in the reign of queen Anne, by Sir Samuel Ongley, of London, who gave it, together with an estate called Elderden, lying at a small distance from it, by will to his nephew, Samuel Ongley, esq. of Old Warden, in Bedfordshire, in tail: on whose death s. p. this estate came by the entail abovementioned to his nephew Robert Henley, esq. who took upon him the name of Ongley, and was in 1776 created baron Ongley, of Ireland, he died in 1785, and his son Robert lord Ongley, is the present owner of it.

ALMNERY-GREEN, usually called Almery green, is a place in the western part of this parish, where there is an estate called Haddis tenement, alias Almery, which was for many generations the residence of the family of Hadde, called in antient writings likewise Le Hadde. Robert Hadde lived here in the reign of king Henry III. as did his son William le Hadde in the next reign of Edward I. (fn. 2) At length about the latter end of the reign of king Edward III. this family divided into two branches, of which Robert le Hadde, the eldest son and heir, settled at Frinsted, where his descendants continued for many generations, and the youngest son inherited this family seat at Chart, which remained in the possessions of his descendants, till Thomas Haddys, in the reign of king Henry VII. leaving two daughters his coheirs, Margaret married first Wm. Wright and afterwards Nicholas Harpur; and Catherine, who married Thomas Bidlake, of Devonshire, this house and estate in Chart became the property of his eldest daughter Margaret, who entitled her husband, William Wright, to it; and he, anno 17 Henry VII. conveyed it to Roger Morys, of Ledes, and after some intermediate owners, it came into the possession of Robert Baker, who in 1612 sold it to Sir Edward Hales, bart. The trustees of whose grandson, Sir Edward Hales, bart. sold it with the manor of Sutton Valence, and his other estates in this parish, to Sir William Drake, of Amersham, with which they were in like manner afterwards sold to Sir Christopher Desbouverie; and on the partition between his two daughters and coheirs, these premises were alloted, with other lands in this and the neighbouring parishes, to Anne, the eldest daughter, married to John Hervey, esq. afterwards of Beechworth, who died possessed of them in 1757, and his grandson Christopher Hervey, esq. is now entitled to them.

There is an estate on ALMNERY-GREEN, which was formerly part of the possessions of the priory of Ledes, and most probably belonging to the almnery of that house, gave name to this place. It the remained with it till the reign of Henry VIII. when the priory being dissolved, this estate came, with the rest of the possessions of it, into the king's hands, and was settled by him in the 32d year of his reign, on his new-erected dean and chapter of Rochester, who are now entitled to the inheritance of it.

LESTED is an antient seat, situated on the northern side of the high road leading from Cocks-heath to Langley-heath, near Chart corner.

It was formerly part of the possessions of the family of Potman. who were possessed of other estates in this parish as has been already mentioned and it continued with them till Sir Richard Potman sold it to Simon Smyth, gent. who resided at Buckland, in Maidstone, whose son Simon was of Boughton Monchensie, and had the arms of his family confirmed to him by Camdem, clarencieux, in 1650. (fn. 3). He left a son Simon, of Lested, (fn. 4) whose widow afterwards remarried George Curteis, esq. sheriff of this county in 1651, when he resided here in her right.

In the descendants of Simon Smyth this estate descended down to the Rev. John Smyth, vicar of this parish, and rector of Hastingleigh, who died in 1732, and was succeeded by his son John Smyth, esq. whose widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Smyth survived him, and afterwards resided in it. She was daughter of Ralph Whitfield, esq. major of the Welsh fuzileers, by whom he left four daughters, Felicia, Elizabeth, Anna Maria, and Dorothea, his coheirs, and they or their respective heirs are now entitled to it.

CHENEYS-COURT is a reputed manor here, which appears in very early times to have been called Hadenesham, and to have been in the possession of Sir Robert de Shurland, a man of great eminence in the reign of king Edward I. who leaving an only daughter and heir, she carried this estate, with other large inheritanbe, in marriage to William de Cheney, of Patricksborne, in whose descendants it continued so long, that they implanted their name on it; at length Sir Thomas Cheney passed it away to John Iden, who died possessed of it in the 4th year of Henry VIII. and one of his descendants, leaving two daughters and coheirs, one of whom married Browne, and the other Barton, the latter of them, in right of his wife, possessed this estate, and in that name it continued till it was at length alienated to Heyward, for Rowland Heyward had the queen's licence, anno 16 Elizabeth, to alienate the messuage and manor, called Chenye-court, to John Long, of Tunbridge; after which it passed to Wolett, and thence to Jordan, and afterwards to that branch of the family of Fane, who were earls of Westmoreland, in which it continued till John, earl of Westmoreland, dying in 1762, s. p. this, among his other estates in this county, is at length, by the limitations of his will, come to the right hon. Thomas, lord le Despencer, who continues the present possessor of it.

There is the appearance of an old manor-pound belonging to it; but there has been no court held for this manor in the memory of man.

THE FAMILY OF SPENCER once possessed an estate in this parish, and resided here for some generations; one of whom John Spencer, esq. was of Chart Sutton, and bore for their arms, Argent, a fess engrailed, in chief three lions rampant, gules, at the latter end of the reign of king Henry VIII. as was his son of the same name afterwards. He left two sons, John and Nicholas, and five daughters, who on their elder brother's death s. p. became his coheirs; and in the beginning of the reign of king Charles I. joined with their respective husbands in the sale of their inheritance in this parish, to Sir Edward Hales, bart. it afterwards passed into the possession of Sir William Drake, and then to Sir Christopher Desbouverie, in whose descendants it has continued in like manner as the rest of his estates in this parish to the present time.


RICHARD MASCALL gave by will in 1599, for the better support of the poor the yearly sum of 40s. in land in Ashford, vested in Edward Finch Hatton, esq. and now of the annual produce of 1l. 11s.

JOAN MASCALL gave by will in 1598, for the like use, the annual sum of 10s. in land in this parish, vested in Wm. Spong, and of that annual produce.

The poor constantly maintained by this parish are yearly in number about thirty-five, casually about twenty.

CHART SUTTON is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sutton,

The church, which stands near the summit of the hill, at a very small distance from Sutton Valence, is dedicated to St. Michael.

This church has been twice set on fire by lightning: the first time, a few years ago, when it was fortunately soon extinguished; the last time was on April 23, 1779, about seven o'clock in the morning, when in a dreadful storm of thunder, the lightning set fire to the beautiful spire steeple of it, and in about three hours time burnt that and the whole building to ashes, excepting the bare walls; since which it has been rebuilt from a plan of Mr. Henry Holland, junior, architect, at the cost of more than 1,300l. collected by a brief throughout the county from house to house, and a liberal contribution made by the neighbouring gentry and clergy.

The church of Chart was given to the priory of Leeds, soon after the foundation of it; the tithes of every kind, arising from the demesnes of the lord of the parish of Chart, and also twenty shillings annual pension from the church, to be paid by the hands of the rector of it, for ever, for the maintenance of the infirmary of the priory, being assigned and granted by archbishop Richard to the canons of the priory. (fn. 5)

In the year 1320, Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, appropriated this church to the priory, and then admitted William de Shoreham to the vicarage of this church; at which time he, by his instrument, endowed the vicarage of it as follows: first, he ordained and decreed, that every vicar, for the time being, should receive all oblations and obits according to the altar of the church, which the rectors of it used of old to receive, together with the tithes of wool, lambs, calves, hogs, hay, flax, hemp, mills, pears, apples, milk, milk-meats, sheep, and of whatever was planted and sowed in gardens; and also, that the prior and convent should bear and exonerate all burthens, ordinary and extraordinary, happening to the church, as well in books, vestments, reparations and rebuildings of it, as often as need should require, the procurations of the archdeacon, and other burthens antiently belonging to it, or which might in future be laid on it. And he further decressed, that the prior and convent should assign of the soil of the church, one acre and an half of land, lying conveniently for a dwelling for the vicar, and should build for him on it a convenient house for him and his successors to dwell in, and that they should pay to him and his successors, as an augmentation of his living, forty shillings sterling yearly.

On the dissolution of the priory of Leeds, in the reign of Henry VIII. this parsonage, with the advowson of the vicarage, came into the hands of the crown, and was by the king settled in his 32d year, on his newerected dean and chapter of Rochester, part of whose inheritance it remains at this time.

On the abolition of deans and chapters, this parsonage was surveyed by order of the state in 1649, when it was returned, that the parsonage, or manorhouse of the parsonage, consisted of a hall, a parlour, kitchen, cellar, buttery, five chambers, three garrets, one dairy-house, barn and stable, with all the tithes thereto belonging, and the tithes of as much of Suttonpark as lay within the precincts of Chart parish, with a court and barn-yard; the whole being valued at fifty pounds per annum, and let by the dean and chapter, anno 26 Charles I. by lease to Sir Edward Hales, bart. and Sir John Hales, his son, for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of 13l 11s. 8d. and one good and seasonable brawn every Christmas, but that the premises were worth over and above, upon improvement, 67l. 3s. 10d. and that the tenant was bound to repair and maintain the chancel of the parish church. At which time the vicarage was valued at thirty-five pounds clear yearly income. (fn. 6)

Among the archives of the dean and chapter of Canterbury is a definitive sentence, made at Cranbrook, anno 1400, concerning the custom and method of taking tithes in this parish, made by Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, in a cause of tithes, between the prior and convent of Ledes and John Hadde, parishioner of this church.

Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, of Teston, is the present lessee of this parsonage. The advowson of the vicarage is reserved by the dean and chapter, in their own hands.

The vicarage is valued in the king's books at 8l. 12s. 8½d. and the yearly tenths at 17s. 3¾d. (fn. 7) It is now of the clear yearly certified value of 47l. 11s. 9¼d.

In 1640 it was valued at thirty pounds per annum, Communicants, 212.

The Rev. John Smyth, vicar gave by will in 1732, two hundred pounds as an augmentation, to enable it to receive the benefit of the like sum from queen Anne's bounty, (fn. 8) with which a small farm of twenty pounds per annum in Ashford parish, has been purchased for the benefit of the vicar and his successors.

Church of Chart Sutton.

Or by whom presented.
Walter de Malden, 1284. (fn. 9)
John Haukinge, the last rector, resigned 1320. (fn. 10)
Dean and Chapter of Rochester. Nicholas Hayman, resig. 1591.
William Hayman, August 9, 1591.
John Case, May 3, 1619, obt. 1664.
Peter Browne, A. M. June 1, 1664, resigned 1687.
John Smyth, Jan. 1687, obt. Dec. 1732. (fn. 11)
James Hales, A. M. April, 1733. (fn. 12)
Richard Husband, A. M. resig. 1769. (fn. 13)
Arnold Carter, 1769, resigned 1773. (fn. 14)
Henry Jones, A. M. 1773, resig. 1783. (fn. 15)
John Smith, 1784, the present vicar.


  • 1. See the succession of this manor more at large under Sutton Valence hereafter.
  • 2. Vistn. co. Kent, 1619. Pedigree of Hadd.
  • 3. Guill. Heraldry, p. 77. See vol. iv. p. 304.
  • 4. Kent, 1619, and MSS. pedigree of Smyth.
  • 5. See the confirmations of it by the archbishops Theobald and Hubert, and by the prior and chapter of Canterbury, in Register of Ledes priory.
  • 6. Parl. Surveys, Lamberth library, vol. xiv.
  • 7. Bacon's Lib. Regis.
  • 8. Ect. Thes. p. ix.
  • 9. Regist. of Ledes priory.
  • 10. Reg. Roff. p. 209.
  • 11. Also rector of Hastingleigh.
  • 12. He was before vicar of Bersted.
  • 13. Minor canon of Rochester.
  • 14. And minor canon of Rochester.
  • 15. Minor canon of Rochester. He resigned this vicarage for Shorne.