The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THE next parish south-eastward is Newnham, antiently written Newenham, which signifies the new town.
The high road through Syndal, or Newnham valley, over Hollingborne-hill towards Maidstone, leads through it. On this road, in the valley, is the village of Newnham, near the western boundary of the parish, adjoining to Doddington, having the church within it, and on the opposite side the parsonage-house, which is known by the name of the calicoe house, from the remarkable red and white colouring of plaister on the front of it. Sholand stands at a small distance further, nearer to Doddington. The parish contains near 1800 acres, of which about one third is woodland and pasture. It extends up the hills on each side the valley, where it is covered with woods to the brow of them. On the northern one, just above the village, is Champion, usually called Champyn-court. It is a cold but healthy country, the land is poor, part chalky, and the rest a red cludgy earth, both very much covered with flints; the woodlands, consisting chiesfly of oak and beach, with some hazel, &c. interspersed among them, are but very indifferent, as are the oak trees in them, which seldom grow to a larger size than for carpenter's use. A fair is held in the village on St. Peter's day, June 29, for linen and pedlary.
THE SCARCE PLANT Potentilla argentea, tormentil cinquefoil, grows in a road hedge near the village.
THE MANOR OF NEWNHAM, alias CHAMPIONCOURT, was antiently part of the possessions of a family which assumed its surname from it. Hugh de Newnham was lord of it in the reign of king Henry I. and then held it of the St. Johns, who were the king's tenants in chief for it.
He was a benefactor to the priory of St. Andrew, in Rochester, to which, among other premises, he gave the church of the adjoining parish of Norton. Thomas, son of Bartholomew de Newenham, was a benefactor to the abbey of St. Radigunds, near Dover, to which he gave one carriage load of hay to be taken yearly from his meadows in Newenham. (fn. 1) Fulk de Newenham succeeded his father Hugh, above-mentioned, in the possession of this manor. In the 19th year of king Stephen, anno 1153, he founded the nunnery of Davington, in this neighbourhood, to which he gave lands in this parish, as well as the church of Newnham, which before this was appurtenant to the manor. His daughter Juliana carried this manor in marriage to Sir Robert de Campania, or Champion, as the name was afterwards called, who resided at the manor house, called from thence CHAMPIONS-COURT, which name it has retained to this time. His son Sir Robert de Campania, was one of those Kentish gentlemen, who attended king Richard I. at the siege of Acon, in Palestine, where he was, with many others of them, knighted. His descendant John de Campania, or Champion, was one of those knights, who were present with that king at the siege of Carlaverock, in Scotland, in his 28th year, and in the 31st of that reign had a grant of a market, on a Thursday weekly, a fair yearly on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, in his manor of Newnham, and free-warren in Norton and Newnham, what arms this family bore I have not found, but to an antient deed of the 26th year of that reign, for the marriage of Julian, sister of Sir John de Chaumpaine, with Roger de Toketon, possessor of the manor of Sileham, in Rainham, and other estates in the hundred of Middleton, there is a seal appendant, with a coat of arms, viz.Vairy, and circumscribed, S. JOHIS DE CHAUMPAINE. (fn. 2)
In the 1st year of Edward III. Margery, widow of John de Champaigne, obtained the king's writ to the sheriff to restore to her all such estates as had been forfeited in his father's reign, on account of the prosecutions of Hugh le Despencer the elder and younger.
At length this family ended in three daughters and coheirs, of whom, Catherine was married to Robert Corbet, and Thomasine to Thomas Chevin; the former of whom, on the division of their inheritance, became, in right of his wife, entitled to this manor. He was descended from the Corbets, of Salop, whose ancestor of that name came in with the Conqueror, of which family there have been three summoned to parliament, and in later times, two branches raised to the dignity of baronets. The raven was the coat armour of all the Corbets, in general, though borne in different numbers, and with various distictions. Robert Corbet above-mentioned, bore for his arms, as of the elder branch, Or, one raven, sable. (fn. 3)
This name at length terminated in two daughters and coheirs, Joane, married to Samuel Slapp, and Elizabeth to Ralph Hart, whose arms were, Azure, three barts heads, caboshed, or, and they in right of their wives, possessed it in undivided moieties; but on the death of Joane, sole daughter and heir of Samuel Slapp, and his wife above mentioned. S. P. the whole see of this manor came into the possession of Richard Hart, son of Ralph Hart and his wife before-mentioned. His successor, about the beginning of king James I.'s reign, alienated it to Sir Henry Spiller, who, in the next reign of Charles I. conveyed it to Rodulph Weckerlin, esq. who resided at Champions-court, after having been a great traveller in different parts of the globe. He was descended of a good family of the duchy of Wirtemburgh, in Upper Germany, and married Anne, daughter of Sir William Hugessen, of Provenders, afterwards married to Gideon Delaune, esq. whom she likewise survived. They bore for their arms, Sable, a bee hive, or. (fn. 4) He died possessed of it in 1667, and was buried in the north chancel of Linsted church, from whose heirs it at length passed by sale, in the reign of queen Anne, to Jacob Sawbridge, of London, afterwards one of the South-Sea directors in the fatal year 1720. He died possessed of it in 1748, and his greatgrandson Samuel-Elias Sawbridge, esq. of Ollantingh, is the present owner of it.
A court baron is held for this manor, which extends over part of the parish of Newnham.
SCHOLAND, commonly called Shulland, is an estate in the southern part of this parish, being situated about one field's distance on the east side of the high road of Newnham valley, just before you enter the village of Doddington.
In the reign of Edward I. Jeffry de Shonyngton was in possession of this estate, which he held by knight's service, of Robert de Campania, and he again of Robert de St. John, the king's immediate tenant, and his descendant Richard de Sconyngton paid aid for it, in the 20th year of Edward III. After which, this estate passed into the family of Bourne, seated at the almost adjoining seat of Sharsted, from whence it went again by sale to Chevin, descended from the Chyveynes or Chevins, of Chevene-court, in Marden. One of this family, of Sholand, Thomas Chevin, married Thomasine, daughter and coheir of John Champaine, of Champions-court, as has been already mentioned. From the name of Chevin it passed by sale to Maycott, and Richard Maycott died possessed of it anno 30 Henry VIII. after which it came into the possession of the family of Adye, of the adjoining parish of Doddington, in which it remained till Joane, daughter of John Adye, esq. carried it in marriage to Thomas Sare, esq. of Provenders, in Norton. He left issue a son Adye Sare, esq. of Provenders, who, in the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, sold it to Mr. James Hugessen, of Dover, from which name it passed to that of Skeere, who bore for their arms, Argent, on a bend vert,between a lion rampant in chief,sabel,and three oak leaves in base,of the second,as many escallopshells of the first. Several of them lie buried in this church and that of Doddington. Here it remained till Mr. John Skeere dying without male issue, it descended by his will, in 1746, partly to Mr. Edward Dering, of Doddington, who had married Elizabeth, one of his daughters, and partly to his other daughter and coheir Barbara, then unmarried, who purchased the other part of Mr. Dering, and so became possessed of the whole of it, which she by marriage, in 1752, entitled her husband Thomas Godsrey Lushington, esq. to the possession of. He died in 1757, S.P. by her, on which she again became entitled to it in her own right, and afterwards sold it to Mr. William Loftie, gent. of Canterbury, the son of Mr. Paul Loftie, of Smeeth, by his wife Eleanor, daughter of Thomas Turner, esq. of Grays-inn, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir Edward Boys, of Fredville, and bore for his arms, Sable, a chevron ermine, between three trefoils slipt, argent. He died possessed of it in 1778, and by his will devised it to his second son Mr. William Loftie, who afterwards exchanged it, for other lands in Romney Marsh, with his brother Mr. Robert Lostie, of the kingdom of Ireland, the present owner of it.
THERE IS A MANOR, called SCHOLLAND, alias SHORLAND, extending over part of this parish and part of Doddington, which has for time out of mind belonged to the same owners as that of Sharsted, in the latter parish, and as such is now in the possession of Alured Pinke, esq. of Sharsted, but it has no connection with the estate of Sholand before-described.
THE HOMESTALL is an estate, situated on the hill near the northern boundary of this parish, though partly in that of Doddington, which was formerly the habitation of gentlemen. Robert Adye, gent. descended from those of Greet, in the adjoining parish of Doddington, resided here in the reign of Charles I. and married Elizabeth, one of the daughters of James Bourne, esq. of Sharsted. After which it became the property of the Nicholsons, who resided at it, several of whom lie buried in Doddington church. (fn. 5) After which it became the estate of Mr. Allen, of Canterbury, whose widow afterwards possessed it, and it is now the property of her devisees.
JOHN HULSE, ESQ. gave a house in this parish, now the poor house, and about an acre of land, called the Alders, in Westwell, vested in the minister and churchwardens, and of the annual produce of 15s.
THERE is a small charity school here, for the teaching of the poor children of the parishes of Newnham and Doddington to read and write, but I cannot find it has any endowment.
The poor constantly relieved are about six, easually 35.
NEWNHAM is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Ospringe.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, consists of three isles and a chancel. The steeple, which is low and pointed, is covered with wood, in it are four bells. In the chancel are several memorials of the Hulkes's, or Hulse's, as they afterwards called and wrote themselves. In the body are several memorials of the Skeere's.
In one of the windows are these arms, Per chevron, sable, and ermine, in chief, two boars heads, couped, or; and another, being the like coat, impaling, Argent,on a bend, azure, three boars heads, couped, or.
Fulk de Newenham, lord of the manor of Newnham, with the church appurtenant to it, on his foundation of the Benedictine nunnery of Davington, in the year 1153, gave the church of Newnham as part of his endowment of it; but the abbot of Favertham afterwards claiming it by a like gift from the same donor, the prioress resigned it into archbishop Hubert's hands, who came to the see in 1193, for him to dispose of it as he might think fit. Upon which the archbishop, in consideration of their poverty, and prompted by charity, granted it to the nuns there, to be possessed by them as an appropriation for ever, paying yearly to the monks of the abbey of Faversham the pension of two marcs and an half, or 33s.4d. which he assigned to the firmary of their abbey. (fn. 6)
It continued part of the possessions of the nunnery at the escheat of it to the crown, in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. at which time this parsonage, with the glebe-lands, was demised by indenture to Henry Bourne, esq. at the yearly rent of twenty pounds.
It continued in the crown till the 35th year of that reign, when the king granted it, among the rest of the possessions of the priory of Davington, to Sir Thomas Cheney, knight of the garter, &c. after whose death, his only son and heir Henry, afterwards lord Chency, became possessed of it.
In 1578, William Lovelace, esq. sergeant-at law, was both impropriator and patron of this church, which was afterwards possessed in moieties, with the alternate presentation of the vicarage by Thomas Adye and Thomas Sare, gents. After which, one moiety, with the alternate right of presentation, together with the parsonage-house, became the property of Mr. John Hulkes, gent. who resided here, and dying in 1651, was buried in the chancel of this church. His son Mr. John Hulse, as he wrote his name, succeeded him in it, but dying in 1681, s. p. by his will devised it to his cousin John, son of Mr. Charles Hulse, late of Chartham, deceased, who bore for his arms, as appears by the gravestones of this family in this church, Sable, three piles, argent. His only son John dying under age, it came by his will in 1713, to his three brothers Edward, Nathaniel, and Strensham Hulse, from one of whom it was alienated to colonel William Delaune, of Sharsted, in Doddington; since which it has descended in like manner as that seat, to Alured Pinke, esq. of Sharsted, the present possessor of this moiety of the parsonage, the parsonage-house, and the alternate presentation of the vicarage of this church.
The other moiety of the parsonage of Newnham, with the alternate presentation to the vicarage, is now become the property of Mr. William Hills, late of the borough of Southwark.
These moieties of the tithes of the parsonage are separated by metes and bounds, and have been so of long time by an antient agreement drawn up for that purpose.
It is a vicarage, of the clear yearly certified value of fifteen pounds, the yearly tenths of which are 11s. 3d. which used to be paid to the the crown-receiver, but now, from the above certified value, it is discharged both from first fruits and tenths.
In 1640 it was valued at twenty pounds. Communicants eighty-six.
This vicarage has been augmented with the sum of 600l. now in the hands of the governors of queen Anne's bounty, of which sum 200l. was an augmentation from queen Anne's bounty, after which, in 1766, 200l. more was added from the same fund, on a distribution of the like sum from the legacy of Mrs. Ursula Taylor, paid to them by the hands of Sir Philip Boteler, bart, as executor to Dr. Quarles, who was executor to Mrs. Taylor, who by her will in 1722 devised the remainder of her personal estate, on certain events, which afterwards happened, to the governors of queen Anne's bounty, in addition to their augmentation of small livings, which residue of her personal estate Sir Philip Boteler paid into the governors hands, to be applied by them in sums of 200l. together with the like sum from their fund, for the augmenting of such small livings as should be named by himself, many of which were in this county, and it is now worth, exclusive of the above augmentation, about forty-five pounds per annum.
Church of Newnham.
|Or by whom presented.|
|William Lovelace, esq.||John Hopton, resigned 1609. (fn. 7)|
|Adye Sare, gent. of Norton.||John Baker, A. M. May 29, 1609, obt. March 1, 1615.|
|Thomas Mills, resigned 1623.|
|John Hulks, gent. of Newnham.||Richard Ames, A. M. Sept. 10, 1623, resigned 1627.|
|Nathaniel Chambers, March 6. 1627. (fn. 8)|
|Daniel Somerscales, A. M. 1697, obt. June 30, 1737. (fn. 9)|
|Samuel Allen, obt. 1759.|
|Henry Shove, A.M. obt. Dec. 8, 1771.|
|The King, by lapse.||Sampson Steele, Dec. 23, 1771, the present vicar.|