Parishes: Milton

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.

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Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Milton', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6, (Canterbury, 1798), pp. 163-192. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Milton", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6, (Canterbury, 1798) 163-192. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: Milton", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6, (Canterbury, 1798). 163-192. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

In this section


OR, more properly, Middleton, lies the next parish north-westward from Sittingborne, last described, and seems to have taken its name from the Saxon Midletun, a name denoting its situation in the middle part of this county.

THE PARISH of Milton is most of it situated on low flat ground, and extends from the high London road as far as the waters of the Swale northward, adjoining to which, the marshes in this parish are both fresh and salt, of a very large extent. In the southern or upper part of the parish, next to the London road, is a small hamlet, called from the soil Chalkwell, in which there are two modern-built houses of the better sort, the lower most of which has a large tan-yard belonging to it; near it there rise some springs, which fill several large ponds, the reservoirs for a corn mill below them, after which they run along the east skirts of the town, which are a continued swamp of watry bogs, into the creek below. The town, antiently called the king's town of Milton, as being part of the antient possessions of the crown, is situated about half a mile from the high London road, at the eastern boundary of the parish, the greatest part of it on the knole of a hill, extending mostly down the east side of it to the head of the creek, which flows north-westward from hence, and at two miles distance, after several meandrings, joins the waters of the Swale. It has a very indifferent character for health, owing both to the badness of the water, and the gross unwholesome air to which it is subject from its watry situation; nor is it in any degree pleasant, the narrow streets, or rather lanes in it, being badly paved, and for the most part inhabited by seafaring persons, fishermen, and oyster-dredgers.

Its commodious situation for navigation near the Swale, to which the town then stood much nearer than it does at present, caused it to be frequented by the Danes, in their piratical excursions into this county, particularly in 893, these pirates, who had been ravaging. France and the Low Countries, being distressed for subsistence, turned their thoughts towards England, for the sake of plunder: for this purpose, with one of their fleets, they sailed up to Apledore, and with the other, consisting of about eighty ships, under the command of Hastings their captain, they entered the mouth of the river Thames, and landing in this parish built themselves a fortress or castle here. Asserius writes, anno 892, Hastengus fecit sibi firmissimum oppidum apud Middeltunam. Sax. Chron. anno 893, interpreted, Arcem extruxit. Simon Dunelm, coll. 151, H. Huntingdon, lib. 5, Florence of Worcester, p. 595, and Chron. Malros, Fecit munitionem. Spelman, in his Life of Alfred, says, Dani castra validis operibus communiunt. This fortress was erected at a place called Kemsleydowne, in the marshes, about midway between the town and the mouth of the creek, the scite of which is still visible, and being overgrown with wood and bushes, has obtained the name of Castberough. (fn. 1) It is of a square form, and is surrounded by a high bank thrown up, and a broad ditch. There is a raised causeway, very plainly to be seen, leading from it towards the seashore. From this fortress they not only made their excursions and plundered the neighbouring country, but secured themselves against such power as the king might send against them.

This town of Milton being part of the royal demesnes, was a cause of its being destroyed by earl Godwin, who being at variance with Edward the Consessor, came here, with a large force, in the year 1052, and burned this town, then of good condition, to the ground; and afterwards ransacked and spoiled many other of the king's estates throughout the county. After which it does not seem to have been ever restored to its former state.

Its condition in the reign of queen Elizabeth may be seen by the survey, made by her order in the 8th year of her reign; by which it appears, that there were then in this town, houses inhabited one hundred and thirty, persons lacking habitations six, landing-places four, one called Fluddmill keye, appertaining to Sir Henry Cheney; the second, Whitlock's key, now the Town key; the third, Reynolds's, now Page's key; and the fourth, Hamond key, appertaining to Thomas Hayward, now Huggins's key; ships and vessels twenty-six, of which twenty were under ten tons; the rest were of twelve, sixteen, and twenty tons; and persons occupied in trade and fishing twenty four.

Since which the town of Milton has considerably increased, as well in the number of its houses and inhabitants, as in its wealth and trade. The number of houses at present is about two hundred and thirty, which are supposed to contain about twelve hundred inhabitants.

The trade of it chiefly consists in the traffic carrying on weekly at the four wharfs in it, where the corn and commodities of the neighbouring country are shipped for London, and goods of every sort brought back again in return; and in the fishery for oysters, a further account of which will be given hereafter. Besides which, the several mills here do not contribute a little to the benefit of this place; four of these are employed in the grinding of corn, and dressing it into flour; and the fifth, called Perrywinckle mill, was some few years ago applied to the manufacturing of pearl-barley, which used to be imported from Holland; and it was supposed to be the only mill in the kingdom where that article was brought to the same perfection as in Holland, but this manufacture for want of due encouragement has been since discontinued.

The town of Milton is governed by a a portreve, who is chosen annually on St. James's day, by the inhabitants of the parish paying church and poor's rates; whose office is, to oversee the market, and preserve good order within the town, and to execute the office of clerk of the market in all matters, within the hundreds of Milton and Marden; he likewise sets the price of all things which come to the keys, or any other creek within the hundred, being such things as head officers in other towns may set the prices on

The market, which is a very plentiful one for all sorts of butchers meat, poultry, &c. is held on a Saturday weekly, at the shambles, in the center of the town. Adjoining to them is the market-house, having a clock, and a bell, which is rung not only for the purpose of the market, but for the calling of the parshioners to church, for funerals, and for occasional parish meetings. At a small distance northward from the shambles is a king of court-house, being a very low old-timbered tenement, where the courts of the manor are kept, and other meetings held; at other times it is made use of as the school house; underneath it is the town prison.

The school is endowed with the annual sum of nine pounds, an account of which may be seen hereafter, among the charitable benefactions to this parish. The master is appointed by the minister and churchwardens. Nine or ten poor boys are taught to read and write in it.

There is a fair, which used to be held on the feast of St. Margaret, July 13, now, by the alteration of the stile, on the 24th of that month, and the two following days.

The lands in this parish, near the town, and especially on the lower or northern part of it, are very rich and sertile. Adjoining to these are the marshes, which extend to the waters of the Swale. Below the hill westward there is another streamlet, which having turned a mill near the vicarage, runs on not far distant from the church, and court-lodge, situated about half a mile northward below the present town, near which the former one destroyed by Earl Godwin is supposed to have once stood.

In the north-west part of this parish, among the marshes, there is a decoy for wild fowl, the only one, that I know of, in this part of the county. The fowl caught in it, are much esteemed for their size and flavor. Great numbers of them are weekly taken and sent up to London.

In this parish, at a small distance northward from Bobbing-place, is a farm called the Quintin farm, which shews that diversion to have been formerly used in it. (fn. 2)

THE FISHERY belonging to the manor and hundred of Milton is of very considerable account. It seems to have been granted by king John, by his charter, in his 7th year, to the abbot and convent of Faversham, by the description of the fisheries of Milton, which the men of Seasalter then held by the yearly rent of twenty shillings, payable at his manor of Milton, and by doing therefrom the customs and service which were wont to be to it.

King Edward III. in his 4th year, confirmed this grant, as did king Henry VI. and this fishery remained part of the possessions of the abbey till its dissolution, in the 30th year of Henry VIII. when it was surrendered up into the king's hands, together with all its possessions.

After which, the fee simple of this fishery remained with the manor in the hands of the crown, till the 10th year of king Charles I. when it was passed away, with it, by the words recited in the grant then made of the manor, to Sir Ed. Browne and Christ. Favell, as will be more fully mentioned below; after which, James Herbert, esq. coming into the possession of it, by the settlement of it from his father Philip, earl of Pembroke, he in the 26th year of king Charles II. obtained a fresh grant of this fishery, against which there was a quo warranto brought in the reign of queen Anne, on a petition of the fishermen of Rochester and Stroud, to shew by what authority they, the grantees, kept courts within their manor of Milton, and restrained the fishermen of those and the adjacent towns, from fishing and dredging for oysters within this hundred and manor: but on a trial had at bar, a verdict was given in his favor. Since which it has continued down, in like manner as the manor of Milton, to the right hon. Philip, viscount Wenman, and Mrs. Anne Herbert, who are at this time proprietors of this fishery, together with the manor.

The company of Fishermen, or Dredgers, of this fishery, hold it by lease from the owners of the manor, at the yearly rent of one hundred pounds and four bushels of oysters. They are governed by their particular officers, under certain rules or bye-laws, made by antient custom at the court baron of the manor. There are now about one hundred and forty freemen belonging to it.

The oysters produced from these grounds, within the limits of this fishery, are usually called Milton Natives, and are esteemed the finest and richest flavored of any in Europe. They are supposed to be the same that Juvenal particularly describes, in his fourth satire, as being reckoned a delicacy even in his time, in these words, satire iv. l. 144:

Rutupinove edita fundo Ostrea, callebat primo deprendere morsu.

The sum usually returned for these oysters is from 3000l. to 7000l. per annum. The Dutch have been supposed by many, to have engrossed this article of luxury; but they expend but a very small part of the above sums, and sometimes none, for the space of seven years together.

IN THE WESTERN PART of this parish there are several hundred acres of coppice-wood, which are adjoining to a much larger tract of the like sort, extending southward almost as far as Binbury pound, on the west side of Stockbury-valley, for the space of near five miles. These woods, especially those in and near this parish, are noted for the great plenty of chesnut stubs interspersed promiscuously throughout them, which, from the quick and strait growth of this king of wood, makes them very valuable. These are so numerous in them, as to give name to most of these woods near Milton, which, besides their particular names to each of them, are usually called by the general name of Chesnut-woods. And in the presentment made of the customs of the manor of Milton in 1575, it is mentioned, that the occupiers of the three mills holden of the manor should gather yearly for the lord of it nine bushels of chestenottes, in Chestnott wood, or pay eighteen-pence by the year to the queen, who then had the manor in her own hands, and was possessed of three hundred acres of chesnut wood within this hundred.

These chesnuts are undoubtedly the indigenuous growth of Britain, planted by the hand of nature. They are interspersed throughout the whole tract, without any form or regularity, and are many of them, by their appearance, of great age; and by numbers of them, which now seem almost worn out and perishing, being made use of as the termini or boundaries, as well of private property as of parishes, it is plain they were first pitched upon, in preference to others, for that purpose, as being the largest and most antient ones of any then existing; and as these are hardly ever cut down or altered, they must have stood sacred to this use from the first introduction of private property into this kingdom, and the first division of it into parishes. Four letters were printed in 1771, after having been read before the Royal Society, two of which were written by Dr. Ducarel, and the other two by Mr. Thorpe and Mr. Hasted, to prove that chesnut-trees were the indigenous growth of this kingdom, in answer to an idea of the hon. Daines Barrington, who had a wish to establish a contrary opinion.

DR. PLOT says, that Herba Britannica, which Twyne and Johnson think to be bistort, Trisolium acetosum, or Oxys; Empetron, quæ est petrafindula Britanniæ prope peculiaris, and Crocus, were found at Milton by Scribonius Largus, when he came into Britain with the emperor Claudius. And he further says, that Crocus sativus, saffron, was heretofore sown and gathered (as now at Walden, in Essex) at Milton, and quotes for his authority, a manuscript rental of the manor of Milton, in the library of Christ-church, Canterbury.

Polygonatum, scala œli, or Solomon's seal, grows on Chesnut-hill, in this parish.

HENRY, youngest son of Robert Sidney, second earl of Leicester, was in 1689 created baron of Milton, and viscount Sidney of the Isle of Shepey; and in 1694, earl of Romney. He died unmarried in 1704, and was buried in St. James's church, Westminster; so that his titles became extinct. (fn. 3)

EVEN so early as the reign of king Alfred, when he divided this county into laths and hundreds, this place was in his own hands as part of the royal demesnes, and is therefore constantly mentioned by our antient historians, by the description of villa Regia de Midleton, i. e. the king's town of Midleton; on which account it seems likely, that he annexed the hundred to the manor of it, as to a place more eminent than any other within the bounds of it, and called it by the same name.

Milton continued part of the antient demesnes of the crown of this realm at the time of William the Conqueror's taking possession of it; accordingly it is thus entered in the general survey of Domesday, under the general title of Terra Regis, that is, the king's antient demesne:

In the half lath of Middeltune, in Middeltune hundred, king William holds Middeltune. It was taxed at twenty-four sulings; without these there are in demesne four sulings, and there are three carucates in demesne. In this manor there are three hundred and nine villeins, with seventy-four borderers, having one hundred and sixty seven carucates. There are six mills of thirty shillings, and eighteen acres of pasture. There are twenty-seven saltpits of twenty-seven shillings. There are thirty-two fisheries of twenty-two shillings and eight pence. Of toll forty shillings; of pasture thirteen shillings and four-pence. Wood for the pannage of two hundred and twenty hogs; and the tenants of the Weald pay fifty shillings for trappings and horses. In this manor there are ten servants. In the whole, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth two hundred pounds by tale, and as much when Haimo, the sheriff, received it, and the like now.

Of this manor, Hugo de Port holds eight sulings and one yoke, which, in the time of king Edward the Confesfor, were, with the other sulings, at a yearly rent. There be has three carucates in demesne.

This land, which Hugo de Port holds, is worth twenty pounds, which were reckoned in the two hundred pounds of the whole manor. He who holds Middeltun pays one hundred and forty pounds by assay and by weight, and likewise fifteen pounds and six shilligs, all but two pence, by tale. The reeve pays Haimo the sheriff twelve pounds.

Of the king's woods, Wardard has as much as pays sixteen-pence per annum, and holds half a denne, which, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, a certain villein held; and Alnold Cild took away two parts by force from a certain villein.

The abbot of St. Augustine holds the churches and tithes of this manor, and forty shillings of the king's, four sulings are payable to him.

The manor of Milton, with the hundred annexed to it, continued part of the royal demesnes for several centuries after this; and though several grants for terms of years, and for the lives of different persons, were made of it, yet the fee of it was never parted with, but remained uninterrupted in the crown till the reign of king Charles I. as will be mentioned hereafter. Indeed it was usually granted from time to time to the several queens of this realm, as part of their dowers, or to others of the royal blood, and they procured many exemptions and privileges to it, most of which it now enjoys.

In the reign of king Stephen it continued in the king's own hands, as appears by his exchange of land belonging to it, among others, for the manor of Faversham, to found the abbey on there; and it did so in the reign of king John, in the 6th year of which the inhabitants of Middleton gave the king ten marcs, to use the same liberties as they had done in the time of king Henry I. Hugh de Montfort, nephew to king Henry III. had the custody of this manor and hundred, for the king's use, in the 42d year of that reign. In the 1st year of Edward I. William de Heure had the custody of it, to hold during the king's pleasure; as had John de Burgo, senior, the year after, who held it for a few years only; for the king, in his 9th year, granted it for life to queen Elianor, his mother, who held it at her death in the 20th year of that reign. At which time this town seems to have had a coroner distinct from those of the county. After which he settled it in dower on his second wife. queen Margaret, on his marriage with her in the 27th year of his reign. (fn. 4) She survived him, and died possessed of it in the 10th year of king Edward II. during which time she claimed, and had a further allowance of several liberties and privileges for it. The next year the king granted it to his queen Isabella, in dower, who, in the 13th year of the same reign, obtained a grant of a market, weekly, on a Thursday, at this manor; and a fair there yearly for four days, viz. on the eve and day of St. Margaret, and the next two days following.

She does not seem to have continued in the possession of this manor long after her husband's death, which happened in 1327, for king Edward III. made a grant of it to his queen Philippa, in dower, in the 7th year of his reign. About which time, the mill within this manor, called South Milne, was the king's prison, and he granted the custody of it accordingly.

After which she obtained the confirmation of several different liberties and privileges to it, and then, in the 19th year of Edward III. she demised this manor, with the hundred, and all liberties belonging to it, except royalties, to William de Clinton, earl of Huntington, for a term of years, at the yearly rent of two hundred pounds.

Queen Philippa died in 1369, most probably in the possession of this manor, which seems to have remained in the hands of the crown, during the whole of the succeeding reign of king Richard II. It certainly was so at the death of that prince, for on the accession of king Henry IV. he granted it in his 1st year, to Hugh de Watterton, constable of Queenborough-castle, and again in his 7th year to his fourth son, Humphry, afterwards duke of Gloucester, and protector of the realm, and for his love of his country, and many amiable qualities, surnamed The Good. (fn. 5) He was possessed of it at his death, in the 25th year of Henry VI. anno 1446.

On his death s. p. the possession of this manor reverted to the crown, king Henry VI. being found by inquisition to be his cousin and next heir. Immediately on which, the king granted this manor and hundred to Margaret his queen, to hold during her life, without any rent or account whatsoever, and she possessed it till the 1st year of Edward IV. when she was attainted in parliament, together with Henry VI. their son the prince of Wales, and others. After which, king Edward IV. in his 4th year, granted this manor, with the hundred, to his youngest brother George Plantagenet, duke of Clarence, who, in the 18th year of that reign, falling under the king's displeasure, was attainted of high treason; upon which the possession of it reverted again to the crown, where it continued during the remainder of that reign. After which I have not met with any further grants of it, but in the 17th year of queen Elizabeth, anno 1575, it was in the queen's own possession, when a solemn inquisition, by virtue of a commission issued to Sir R. Manwood, justice of the common pleas, and others for that purpose, was had by a jury, sworn to enquire concerning the customs, bounds, and rights of her manors and hundreds of Milton and Marden, a very curious and interesting record; and in a patent or deputation, granted that year to the lord Cobham, warden of the five ports, by the lord admiral Howard, impowering him to claim such wreck of the sea as was not claimed by any particular grant, there is an exception made of this place of Middleton, and the sea adjoining to it. (fn. 6)

At length king James I. by patent in his 7th year, granted this manor, with the hundred of Milton, to Philip Herbert, earl of Montgomery, for the term of sixty years, and his successor Charles I. by patent, in his 10th year, granted the fee of it to Sir Edward Browne and Christopher Favell, who soon afterwards conveyed their interest in it to Sir Edward Leach and Edward Taverner, and they passed it away by sale to Philip, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, beforementioned, who then became entitled to the fee as well as the possession of it. He had been, by letters patent, anno 3 James I. created lord Herbert, of Shurland, in Shepey, and earl of Montgomery. In the year 1630, being the 6th of Charles I. on the death of his eldest brother William, earl of Pembroke, without surviving issue, he succeeded him in titles and estates. In the 6th year of king James I. he had been elected knight of the garter, he was lord chamberlain of the household to king Charles I. chancellor of the university of Oxford, and constable of Queenborough castle. (fn. 7)

By Susan his first wife, daughter of Edward, earl of Oxford, he had seven sons, of whom two only survived him; Philip, who succeeded him in his honors, and the hon. James Herbert, on whose marriage, in 1645, with Jane, daughter and sole heir of Sir Robert Spiller, of Laleham, in Middlesex, his father, the earl, settled this manor and its appendages. He left two sons, of whom Thomas, the eldest, died s. p. and James Herbert, esq. the other son, succeeded at length to this manor, and was of Kingsey, in Buckinghamshire, whose son James Herbert, esq. of Tythorpe, in Oxfordshire, died possessed of it in 1709. He left two sons, James and Philip, and two daughters, Sophia, married to Philip, viscount Wenman, of the kingdom of Ireland, and Anne.

James Herbert, esq. of Kingsey, the eldest son, succeeded his father in this manor, and served in parliament for Oxfordshire. He died in 1721, s. p. on which it descended to his surviving brother Philip Herbert, esq. of Tythorpe, afterwards M. P. for the city of Oxford, who died likewise s. p. in 1747; on which this manor, among his other estates, devolved to his two sisters above-mentioned.

Philip, viscount Wenman, in right of Sophia his wife, accordingly became possessed of a moiety of this manor, with its appendages, of which he died possessed in 1760, leaving two sons, Philip, lord viscount Wenman, who married Eleanor, daughter of Willoughby, late earl of Abingdon; and Thomas-Francis, LL. D. regius professor of civil law in the university of Oxford, who was unfortunately drowned there in 1796, dying s. p. and one daughter Sophia, married to William Humphry Wickham, esq. of Swalecliff, in Oxfordshire. On the death of lord Wenman, his widow became entitled to his moiety of this manor for her life. Since whose death in 1787, it has descended to her only surviving son the right hon Philip, viscount Wenman, the present possessor of it; but the other moiety of this estate still continues in the possession of Mrs. Anne Herbert, (the other sister, and at length coheir of Philip Herbert, esq. of Tythorpe) who now resides at Oxford, and is at present unmarried. Lord Wenman bears for his arms, Party per pale, gules, and azure, a cross patonce, or, over it, an escutcheon of pretence, for Herbert, Party per pale, azure, and gules, three lioncels rampant, argent, with a proper difference, supporters, Two greybounds, gules, gorged with plain collars, or. (fn. 8)

There is a court leet and court baron held for this manor and hundred, at Easter and Michaelmas annually, which is usually stiled in records, the court of antient demesne, for the manor and hundred of Milton.

NORTHWOOD CHASTENERS, usually called Norwood, is an eminent manor here, which took its name as well from its situation in the western part of this parish, as from the large tract of wood-grounds close beside it; and these woods having large quantities of chesnuts growing throughout them, gained this manor the additional name of Chasteners. Lambarde, in his Perambulation, says, that this manor was of such account in the days of king Edward the Confessor, that one hundred burgesses of the city of Canterbury owed their suit to it, as appeared by the book of Domesday, but he has mistaken the description of Little Barton manor, near Canterbury, which is called Norwood in that record, for this manor of the same name in Milton.

Stephen, son of Jordan de Shepey, who lived in the reigns of Richard I. and king John, obtained a grant of this manor from the crown, and built a mansion here, which he moated round, and encompassed it with a park, well wooded, and stored with plenty of deer and wild boars. Hence he assumed the name of De Norwood, which all his descendants continued to use.

Stephen de Norwood above mentioned, lived to a very advanced age, and a little before his death gave two acres of land, in Northwode, for building a chapel here, and ten acres for the maintenance of a chaplain, who should pray for the souls of king Richard and king John, who had given him that land for his services; and he assigned as a proper maintenance for the chaplain, all his small tithes, as well of his tenements, as of his mills, &c. and half an acre of land about the latter.

His son Roger de Northwood is in the list of those Kentish gentlemen, who were engaged with Richard I. at the siege of Acon, in Palestine, and lies buried in the church of Minster, in Shepey, as does the lady Bona his wife. Their son Sir Roger de Northwood, in the 41st year of king Henry III. procured the tenure of his lands to be changed from gavelkind to knight's service; before which he had, in the 32d year of it, entered into a composition with the abbot, and convent of St. Augustine's, for the prosecution of his father's purpose of the endowment of the chapel before-mentioned, which he had before converted to his own use; and for the providing for the indemnity of the mother church of Milton, of the abbot and convent's patronage.

In the 1st year of king Edward I. writs were issued to several of the principal gentry and their wives, of this and other counties, to be present at the coronation at Westminster, on the Sunday next after St. Valentine's day, one of these writs was directed, Johi de Northwode et Consorti suæ, Johi de Northwode, jun. &c. &c. et Consortibus suis.

He died in the 13th year of that reign, then holding this manor in capite by knight's service, and in his descendants, men eminent in their time, who received summons to parliament from time to time, (many of whom lie buried in Milton church, who bore for their arms, Ermine, a cross engrailed, gules, which arms of Northwood, and likewise impaling Norton, were formerly in several places in this, as well as other churches in this county, and in the cloysters of Canterbury cathedral; and of Northwood in the chapter-house there,) this manor continued down to John de Northwood, esq of Northwood, who married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of John Frogenhall, by whom he had a son of the same name, who dying s. p. his two sisters, one of whom married John Barley, of Hertfordshire, and the other Sir John Norton, became his coheirs, and on the division of their estates, the latter became, in his wife's right, possessed of this manor. He was descended from Nicholas de Norton, who lived in the reign of king Stephen, and was possessed of much land in the neighbourhood of Norton and Faversham, as appeared by the chartulary of the monastery of St. Augustine. His descendants, by the marriage of a female heir of the family of at-Leeze, became possessed in her right, of Sheldwich, some of whom lie buried at Faversham. At length Reginald Norton, esq. left two sons, John, who married the daughter and coheir of John Northwood, esq. as before-mentioned, and William, who was ancestor of the Nortons, of Fordwich, in this county. He had likewise an illegitimate son, named Thomas Norton, alias Grene, which latter name all his descendants took.

John Norton, esq. above-mentioned, in the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, attended Sir Edward Poynings, knight-banneret, when he went to the assistance of Margaret, duchess of Savoy, governess of the Low Countries, sister to the emperor, against the duke of Guelders; and for his good services there, was, with others, knighted by Charles the Young, king of Castile, who was afterwards emperor. In the 5th year of that reign, he served the office of sheriff, and dying in 1534, was buried in the Northwood chancel in Milton church, where his tomb still remains. His descendants, who bore for their arms, Gules, a cross potent, ermine, continued to reside at Northwood, down to Thomas Norton, of Northwood, where he kept his shrievalty in the 17th year of James I. and was knighted; (fn. 9) but in the 20th year of that reign he alienated this manor to Manasses Northwood, esq. of Dane-court, in Thanet, descended of a collateral branch of those already mentioned, as the early possessors of this manor, and bore for their arms the same coat as the Northwoods, before-mentioned, with the addition, in the first quarter, of a wolf's head erased, gules. He died in 1636, holding this manor in capite by knight's service, whose son Richard Northwood, esq. quickly after his father's death, passed it away by sale to Sir William Tuston, knight and baronet, of Hothfield, a younger brother of Nicholas, the first earl of Thanet, who had been governor of Barbadoes, and afterwards resided at Vintners, in Boxley.

On his death, Sir Benedict Tuston, bart. his eldest son, succeeded to the manor of Northwood, but dying s. p. his next brother, Sir Charles Tuston, bart. became his heir and possessed of it, and he by deed, in 1661, alienated it to Gilbert Roope, of Vintners, and George Charlton, of Boxley, tanner, who in 1664 sold it again to Capt. Stephen Mitchell, of Rotherhithe, in Surry, whose heirs instituted a suit in chancery, to determine the property of it; and it was ordered, by a decree of court, anno 30 Charles II. to be sold: in consequence of which, it became vested, about the year 1680, in Mr. Matthew Crover, gent. of Rotherhithe, who with others, joined in the conveyance of it to Mr. Thomas Houghton, gent. of Islington, for the term of his life; remainder to Susan, then the wife of Mr. John Marsh, in tail general. She left an only daughter by him, of her own name, who carried this manor in marriage to Mr. Richard Davenport, gent. She survived her husband, and suffered a recovery of it anno 6 George I. and afterwards by will, in 1731, devised it to her son John, in tail; with divers remainders over.

Mr. John Davenport levied a fine of this manor in 1742, and afterwards, in 1753, (fn. 10) conveyed it by sale to Mr. John Le Grand, gent. of Canterbury, descended from Julian Le Grand, a native of Bailleu, who left the low countries, with many others, on account of his religion, in queen Elizabeth's reign. He died unmarried in 1794, and it has since become by his devise, the property of Robert Rushbrooke, esq. of Canterbury, the present possessor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

GROVEHURST, now usually called Grovers, is a manor situated somewhat less than a mile northward from the town of Milton. It was once the inheritance of a family of that name. Sir William de Grovehurst possessed it in the reigns of king Edward I. and II. as did his descendant Sir Richard Grovehurst in that of king Henry VII. At length Thomas Grovehurst, esq. in the reign of Edward VI. alienated it to Clement Fynche, a branch of those of Netherfield, in Sussex, who were descended from Vincent Herbert, alias Finch, and ancestors of the several branches of this family from time to time created peers of this realm, whose arms they likewise bore.

It appears by the escheat-rolls of the 3d year of queen Elizabeth, that he then held this manor in capite. He died in the 38th year of that reign, and lies buried in the great chancel of this church, where is a monument erected to his memory, with the effigies of him, his two wives, and his son John Fynche, on it. His descendants continued for many generations afterwards in the possession of it, and till it was at length alienated by one of them to Keat, and Sir Jonathan Keat, bart. died possessed of it in 1700, whose arms were, Argent, three cats a-mountain, in pale passant, sable, which Guillim says, was the bearing of Sir Jonathan Keat, of Paul's Walden, in Hertfordshire, and of Grovehurst, in Milton, bart. His heirs sold it to Peachy, of Petsworth, in Sussex, whose descendant Sir Henry Peachy, was in 1733 created a baronet. He died in 1737, without issue male, and was succeeded in title and estates by his next brother Sir John Peachy, bart. whose son of the same name dying s. p. in 1765, was succeeded in title according to the limitation of the patent, by Sir James Peachy, bart. of Titleworth, in Sussex, who bore for his arms, Azure, a lion rampant, double queued, ermine, on a canton, or, a mullet pierced, gules. He died in 1771, and was succeeded by his only son Sir James Peachy, bart. of West Dean, in Sussex, who in August 13, 1794, was created lord Selsey, he is the present possessor of this manor.

MANOR OF OWRE, usually stiled in antient records, the manor of the court of Owre, is situated on the edge of the marshes on Kemsley down, at a small distance eastward from the last described manor of Grovehurst. This manor, in the reign of Edward I. was in the possession of the family of Savage, one of whom, John le Sauvage, in the 23d year of it, had a grant of free-warren, and other liberties in his manor of Ore, near Middleton. In the 1st year of king Edward II. John de Handlo was owner of it, and had then a like grant to him and his heirs in this manor. (fn. 11) But in the 1st year of king Richard II. this manor was come into the hands of the crown, and was that year granted to Alice de Preston, and her heirs. It afterwards passed into the family of Monins, and John Monins, esq. of Swanton; died possessed of it in 1568, holding it in capite by knight's service. On his death without issue, his brother Sir Edward Monins, of Waldershare, became his heir, and possessed of this manor, which his son Sir William Monins, bart. afterwards alienated to John Finch, esq. who held it in 1653; at length one of his descendants sold it, together with the manor of Grovehurst before-mentioned to Keat, and Sir Jonathan Keat, bart. died possessed of it in 1700. His heirs sold it to Peachy, in whose family it has continued down, in like manner, to the right hon. James, lord Selsey, who is the present possessor of it.

But a part of this estate, which comprehended Owrehouse, in Charles the 1st.'s reign, was become the property of Ambrose Tomlyn, and came afterwards into the possession of Samuel Hunt, in right of his wife, whose only daughter carried it in marriage to the Rev. Charles Hinde, vicar of this parish, whose daughters becoming owners of it, pulled down the antient house, in 1768, and about two years afterwards conveyed the scite of it, with the land belonging to it, to their brother Mr. John Hinde, gent. of Milton, the present possessor of it. There is no court held for this manor.

COLSALL, alias CHICHES, now most usually called Colson, is a reputed manor, the mansion of which is situated in the north-west extremity of this parish, though great part of the lands belonging to it extend into that of Iwade. This seat has been eminent for having owners of both those names, who resided here successively, the former of them as early as the reign of king Edward III. and continued owners of it for several generations, bearing for their arms, Chequy, or, and sable, a chief argent, guttee de sang. At length the daughter and heir of this name carried it in marriage to Ralph Chiche, whose sole daughter and heir Margaret entitled her husband Thomas Alefe, to the possession of it, who rebuilt this seat, and he died possessed of it in 1529, anno 21 Henry VIII. and lies buried, with Margaret his wife, in the south chancel of Milton church. On his monument were, till within these few years, his arms, Per fess, a lion rampant, between three crosses pattee, fuchee, impaling Chiche, three lions rampant, which latter are still remaining. In the hall of this seat, in several places, there is the rebus of his name, being the large letter A, and then a leaf. He likwise died without issue male, leaving an only daughter Catherine, who carried it again in marriage to Richard Monins, esq. of Saltwood-castle, whose grandson Sir William Monins, created a baronet in 1611, seems to have alienated it to Sir Justinian Lewin, of Otterden, who died in 1620, leaving an only daughter and heir Elizabeth, who entitled her husband, Richard Rogers, esq. of Brianston, in Somersetshire, to it. He likewise dying without male issue, his daughter Elizabeth carried it in marriage to Charles Cavendish, lord Mansfield, who died without issue by her, and secondly to Charles Stuart, duke of Richmond and Lenox, who, with his duchess, in the 14th year of Charles II. alienated this estate to Thomas Lushington, gent. of Sittingborne, whose grandson Thomas Godfrey Lushington, of Canterbury, died possessed of it in 1757, and by will gave this estate to his eldest son Capt. William Lushington, who dying unmarried in 1763, it came to his only surviving brother the Rev. James Stephen Lushington, of Bottisham, in Cambridgeshire, prebendary of the church of Carlisle, and he is the present owner of it.


THOMAS BRADBURY, gent. late of this parish, by will in 1601, gave the yearly profits of four acres in Sawyers fields, to be distributed to the poor by the minister and churchwardens on St. Thomas's day, now of the annual produce of 5l.

FULKES TAYLOR, late of this parish, yeoman, gave by will in 1616, the yearly sum of 5l. to be distributed to the poor on the same day.

THOMAS KNOTT late of this parish, mariner, by will in 1673, gave the yearly sum of 1l. 2s. to be laid out in bread, and distributed by the churchwardens to the poor on twentytwo Sundays yearly, beginning on the third Sunday after the feast of St. Michael.

THOMAS KIPPS, gent. late of the city of Canterbury, by will in 1680, gave 20s. per annum, payable out of a tenement in Great Chart, and the lands called Chillmash there, to be distributed to the poor by the overseers on Christmas-day.

ELIZABETH MORLEY, spinster, late of St. Andrew's, Holborne, by will in 1714, gave to the churchwardens 100l. the interest of it to be given towards the teaching of three poor fatherless children to read and write, now of the annual produce of 5l.

JOHN KNOTT, late of this parish, baker, by will in 1718, gave the yearly sum of 5l. for the teaching of poor children to read and write, payable out of an estate, now Mr. Tho. Grant's, vested in the churchwardens and overseers.

CATHERINE ANNE DICKS, widow, late of this parish, by will in 1731, gave 25l. the interest of it yearly to be laid out in bread, in six two-penny loaves, each Sunday to be distributed by the churchwardens to six poor widows, beginning on Christmas-day, now of the annual produce of 16s. 10½d.

JOHN KNOTT, of this parish, gave 21 penny loaves for 22 Sundays, to begin on the third Sunday after Michaelmas, to such poor old people as should be at church, and took no alms of the parish.

MRS. MARY SIMMS, widow, of this parish, by will in 1772, devised the residue of her personal estate, after her debts and the legacies therein mentioned were satisfied, to the minister and churchwardens of Milton, to be put out to interest, and to be laid out in bread for the poor, to be distributed for so many successive Sundays yearly as they should think proper, to begin the first Sunday after Christmas-day, the amount of which in money was 87l. 6s. 8d. and now of the annual produce of 2l. 19s. 5½d.

MILDRED CHAPMAN, widow, by will in 1778, gave the sum of 20l. the yearly produce to be equally divided among ten poor widows, on St. Andrew's day yearly, vested in the minister and churchwardens, and now of the annual produce of 1l.

The poor constantly relieved are about eighty-five, casually one hundred.

MILTON is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sittingborne.

The church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It is a large handsome building, consisting of two isles and two chancels, the southernmost of which belongs to the manor of Northwood. It has a well built tower at the west end, in which are five bells. In this church, among others, were formerly the arms of Barry, Diggs, Finch, of the Five Ports, of Norwood and Norton, with their several crests, trophies, and banners; of Marten quartering Boteler; one coat, Barry, argent and azure, on a canton of the first, a bird of the second; Argent, three bends azure, within a bordure, eight mullets; Gules, a fess or, between three mullets, argent; and in one of the windows, a man kneeling, with a coat of arms, Six lions rampant, three and three, and underneath, Orate paia Guliel Savage Armigi.

Mauricius ap John, rector of St. George's, in Exeter, was buried in the choir of this church, as appears by his will, anno 1499.

In the year 1070, being the 5th year of his reign, William the Conqueror gave to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, the church of Middelton, and the tenths of all the products accruing from that manor, and the tenths of all its appurtenances, of the land, wood, meadows, and water, excepting the tenths of honey, and rent paid in money. (fn. 12)

Pope Lucius XI. in 1144, at the petition of abbot Hugh de Trottesclive, confirmed the annual pension of ten marcs from this church to that abbey.

In 1168, the conventual church of St. Augustine was the greatest part of it burnt; on which account this church was allotted to the sacristy there, for the repair of it. (fn. 13) But they did not keep it long, for in 1178, at the king's instance, they gave it up, and lost all property both in the church, and the advowson of it. A composition was entered into between the archbishop and the abbot in 1182, concerning the privileges and exemptions of the latter; when it was agreed, that the archdeacon, or his official, should receive his accustomed dues and procurations from the churches of St. Augustine, excepting those of Minster, Northborne, and Chistelet, and from this church likewise, when the monks should again get possession of the appropriation of it.

Four years after which, the abbot demised to the prioress of St. Sexburg of Shepey, the tiches which his monastery possessed, in right of this church, in Bobbing, at the yearly rent of ten shillings, on condition that all housekeepers, which should be on the estates from which they arose, should yearly repair to this the mother church, with their oblations, on Christmas-day, the Purification, and Easter day. And in 1188, the abbot demised to the prioress there, the tenths of Westlonde, within her parish, for the rent of fourteen shillings, payable yearly to the sacrist of St. Augustine.

About the year 1198, the abbot and convent recovered this church, which was then become vacant by the death of one Franco, the person to whom they had given it up, at the instance of king Henry. But they had kept it but a small time, before the archbishop disturbed them in their possession of it. However, by the mediation of mutual friends, and at the king's request, that he would not molest them in their appropriation of it; he out of respect to the king, ratified this church to them, to be possessed by them for ever. (fn. 14)

There was a pension of forty shillings payably yearly from this church, with the chapel belonging to it, to the above monastery, which, with the other pensions from their several churches, was given up by agreement in 1242, for a compensation out of the profits of the church of Preston.

The abbot and convent, among the extensive privileges from the papal see, had obtained an exemption from all archiepiscopal authority, and about the year 1295 made an institution of several new deanries, and apportioned the several churches belonging to his monastery, to each of them, according to their vicinity; one of these was the deanry of Lenham, in which this church was included. This raised great contests with the several archbishops, and after more than five years altercation, the abbot was stripped of these exemptions, and was declared, by the pope's bull, to be subject to the archbishop's jurisdiction, in like manner as before; which entirely dissolved these new deanries, and that of Lenham among them. (fn. 15)

Notwithstanding the abbot and convent seem to have held the appropriation of this church almost from held the appropriation of this church almost from the first grant of it, and though there had been vicars instituted to it long before this time, for Robert de Wikes, who stiles himself vicar of Middelton, by his deed in 1247, granted seven deywerks of land, with the houses built on it, for the habitation of the vicar of Middelton, for the time being; and the abbot and convent had in 1286, assigned a portion for the maintenance of the vicar here; yet there does not appear to have been any regular endowment of a vicarage to it, till the reign of king Edward III. when archbishop Stratford, in 1345, anno 20 Edward III. by his instrument, decreed, that the vicar of the church of Middelton, and his successors, should have the usual mansion of the vicarage, with the garden adjoining to it, together with one acre of the glebe of the same; and that he should have, in the name of the vicarage, all manner of oblations in the church of Middelton, and in all places, situated within the bounds and limits or titheable places of it; and that they should have in the name of the vicarage, all tithes of sylva cædua, wool, lambs, calves, pigs, ducks, geese, swans, pidgeons, cheese, milk-meats, herbage, apples, pears, and other fruit, growing in gardens and orchards, pulse, flax, hemp, eggs, rushes, merchandizes, and of all mills built, or which might in future be built, within the bounds and limits or titheable places of the church, and all other small tithes whatsoever belonging to it, and all legacies left in future to it, which the rectors or vicars of it might of right or custom take; also, that the vicars, in right of the vicarage, should have of the religious, the annual pension of 4s. (fn. 16) sterling, one seam or quarter of corn, and three quarters or seams of barley, on the feast of St. Michael, at Middelton, by them to be yearly paid, on pain of the sequestration of the fruits and profits of the church, belonging to the religious, to be laid on as often and whenever they should cease in the payment of the pension or barley, or should not pay either of them in the time above-mentioned.

But that the vicars should undergo the burthen of serving by themselves, or some other fit priest, the church in divine services, in the finding of one lamp, to burn before the altar of St. Mary there, and the ministering of bread, wine, lights, and other things, which should be necessary for the celebration of divine rights in the church. The burthen likewise of the payment of tenths and other impositions, whenever they might be imposed on the English church, or incumbent on the church, for the taxation of twelve marcs, beyond the burthens allotted to the religious underneath, they should undergo at their own costs and expences.

But the burthen of the reparation and rebuilding of the chancel of the church, both within and without, and also the finding and repairing of books and vestments, and ornaments of the church, which were wont or ought of right or custom, to be found and repaired by the rectors of churches, and all other burthens, ordinary and extraordinary, incumbent on the church, the religious should undergo and acknowledge for ever, &c. (fn. 17)

The church and vicarage, after this, remained part of the possessions of the monastery, till the final dissolution of it, in the 30th year of Henry VIII. when it was, with all its revenues, surrendered up into the king's hands, who by his dotation-charter, in his 33d year, settled both the appropriation of this church, and the advowson of the vicarage, among other premises, on his new-founded dean and chapter of Christchurch, Canterbury, with whom the inheritance of the parsonage still remains, the interest in the lease of it being now in the heirs of John Cockin Sole, esq. deceased, but the advowson of the vicarage the dean and chapter retain in their own hands, and are the present patrons of it.

The vicarage of Milton is valued in the king's books at 13l. 2s. 6d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 6s. 3d.

In 1578, there were here, dwelling-houses on hundred and eight, communicants three hundred and seventy-four. In 1640 this vicarage was valued at eighty pounds. Communicants five hundred and twenty-nine.

The antient annual pension of four shillings, one quarter of wheat, and three quarters of barley, stipulated to be paid by the religious as before-mentioned, still continues to be paid by the lessee of the parsonage, by the covenants of his lease.

The agreement made between the prior of the brethren of the hospital of St. John of Jersalem and the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, about king Henry the IId.'s reign, that whenever their chapel of Rodmersham should be dedicated, and the cemetery consecrated, they would diminish by it none of the mother church of Middleton's rights; has already been more fully mentioned in the account of that parish before. (fn. 18)

Church of Milton.

Or by whom presented.
Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Anthony King smill, A.M. Sept. 8, 1585, obt. 1616.
Isaac Colfe, A. M. October 10, 1616.
The King by lanse The same, July 3, 1624.
Dean and chapter. John Hurt, A. M. July 6, 1661, obt 1672.
Thomas Turner, A. M. March 14, 1672. obt. 1695.
William Turner, A. B March 21, 1695, obt. 1711.
John Smith, A. M. Sept. 28, 1711, obt. 1718. (fn. 19)
Charles Hinde, A. M. Oct. 10, 1718, obt. 1751. (fn. 20)
Francis Gregory, A. M. July 23, 1751, resigned 1764. (fn. 21)
Osmund Beauvoir, S. T. P. April 1, 1765, obt. July 1, 1789. (fn. 22)
The Archbishop, by lapse John Rose, A. M. July, 1790, vacated 1792. (fn. 23)
Dean and chapter. Henry John Todd, A. M. 1792, the present vicar. (fn. 24)


  • 1. See an engraving of it p. 1.
  • 2. See an account of this diversion, under Osham, vol. iv. of this history, p. 533.
  • 3. See Coll. Peer. edit. 2d. vol. ii. p. 152.
  • 4. Sandford, book iii. p. 134. Rym. Fœd. vol. ii. p. 856.
  • 5. See Pat. Henry IV. an. 1, pt. 4, m. 17, and an. 7, pt. 1, m. 1. and pt. 8, m. 1, where the lord of this manor had wreck of the sea.
  • 6. Harris's History of Kent, p. 207.
  • 7. See Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 255. Coll. Peer. vol. iii. p. 22 et seq. and a character of him, and likewise of his elder brother, in Wood's Ath. Oxon. vol. i. fasti, p. 172.
  • 8. See Willis's Buck. p. 329. Irish Peer. vol. ii. p. 365.
  • 9. MSS. pedigree of Norton. Vistn. co. Kent, 1619.
  • 10. Deed inrolled in chancery anno 26 Geo. II. Hilary roll 89.
  • 11. Rot. Cart. No. 20. See Dugd. Bar.
  • 12. See the confirmations of this gift in Decem. Script. Chron. W. Thorn, col. 1788, 1796, 2123.
  • 13. Decem. Script. Chron. col. 1815. Archbishop Theobald likewise confirmed this church to the monastery. Col. 2091.
  • 14. See the confirmations of this church to the monastery, in Dec. Script. Chron. col. 1185, 1838, 1840, 1882.
  • 15. See Lenham, vol. v. of this history, p. 442.
  • 16. In the Decem Scriptores the annual pension is said to be 40s. but it is a mistake. For, in the original endowment of this vicarage, which is in the British Museum (Cotton MSS. FAUSTINA, A. i. fol. 231. b.) it is clearly only the sum of four shillings a year, which error is here corrected accordingly, the vicar receiving no more at this time.
  • 17. Decem. Script. Chron. W. Thorn. col. 2093.
  • 18. This agreement is among the archives of Christ-church, in Canterbury.
  • 19. See Preston by Wingham, of which he was likewise vicar.
  • 20. And curate of Iwade.
  • 21. He had been before rector of Brooke, and resigned this vicarage for the rectory of St. George and St. Mary Burgate, in Canterbury, united.
  • 22. And by dispensation in 1764, vicar of Littleborne. He was likewise curate of Iwade, and head master of the king's school of Canterbury. He was formerly fellow of St. John's college, Cambridge, and vicar of Calne, in Wiltshire, and in 1782 was created S. T. P. by the archbishop.
  • 23. He was presented to the rectory of Mepall, with the vicarage of Sutton, in the Isle of Ely, when he vacated this vicarage.
  • 24. And minor canon of Christchurch in Canterbury. He published in 1793 an authentic and well-written account of the lives of the deans of that church; a gentleman to whose courtesy the Editor of this history is highly indebted for his continual assistance during the publication of it, which he is happy of having this opportunity of acknowledging publicly.