Parishes: Preston

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: Preston', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6, (Canterbury, 1798), pp. 532-549. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Preston", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6, (Canterbury, 1798) 532-549. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: Preston", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6, (Canterbury, 1798). 532-549. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

In this section


THE next parish eastward is Preston, written in antient records both Prestentune and Prestetone, which name it is supposed to have taken from its belonging to the church, that is to say, Priests town. It is now called Preston near Faversham, to distinguish it from another parish of the same name near Wingham.

THE HIGH ROAD from London to Canterbury runs through this parish, which is situated at the 47th milestone, from which the town of Faversham is distant not more than two hundred yards, great part of Prestonstreet being within its boundaries, and may be said to form the village of it, for there is no other. The church and vicarage near it stand at a very small distance eastward of this street, and the like distance northward from the London road, and not far from them the new-built seat of Preston-house. The high road from Faversham to Ashford having crossed the London road, runs along the middle of this parish, eastward of which are the estates of Mackner, close to the London road, and a mile higher up Westwood and Copton, both respectable farm houses. Perry-court is situated likewise on the south side of the London high road, at a very small distance, and within sight of it, near Chapel-house, and the western boundary of the parish next to Ospringe. This parish, which lies on a descent to the northward, from its nearness and exposure to the marshes, though in a fine pleasant country, is far from being healthy, especially in the lower parts of it, where the land is very fertile, a fine loamy soil, the fields large and unincumbered with trees, a round tilt land, but as it rises higher to the southward, though healthier, yet the soil becomes gradually thinner, more inclined to chalk, and mixed with flints, and consequently much less productive.

Mention has been made before of a part of this parish being separated from the main part of it by others intervening; this is a part of the demesnes of the manor of Hamme-marsh, erroneously called in the dotation-charter of the dean and chapter of Canterbury, Honymarsh, which lies at a distance from the rest of it near the marshes, northward of Davington-hill, which parish entirely separates this part from the rest of it. A part of the parish of Luddenham lies entirely surrounded by Preston, the east end of the great field before Perry-house being esteemed to belong to that parish.

MR. JACOB has noted in his Plantæ Favershamienses several scarce plants, found by him in this parish, and among them the Lathyrus latifolius, broad-leased everlasting pea, and the vinca minor, or periwincle.

PRESTON was given, by the name of the principal manor in it, called COPTON, antiently written Coppanstane, together with its appendage of Ham-marsh, by Cenulph, king of Mercia, after having made the kingdom of Kent tributary to him, in the year 822, to Wlfred, archbishop of Canterbury, L. S. M. that is, libere sicut Middleton, endowed with the same liberties and franchises as Middleton originally was.

After which, by the contests which were then carried on by those petty kings, each of whom ashe happened to grow superior in power, constantly dispossessed his neighbours of their dominions, this manor appears to have been wrested from the church of Canterbury, and to have been again restored to it in 941, under the name of Prestantun, by king Edmund, Edred his brother, and Edwy, sons of king Edmund, who gave it to the monks of Christ-church, for the use of their refectory, et est de victu eorum, as the record has it. (fn. 1) In which state it continued at the time of the taking of the general survey of Domesday, in the year 1084, when it was thus entered in that record, under the title of Terra Monachorum Archiepi, or lands of the monks of the archbishop, as all the lands belonging to that monastery were.

The archbishop himself holds Prestetone. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is six carucates. In demesne there are three, and thirteen villeins, with fourteen borderers having three carucates. There is a church, and one servant, and one mill without tallage, and one fishery of two hundred and fifty eels. There are two acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of five hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth ten pounds, now fifteen pounds.

In the 22d year of king Edward I. anno 1293, there was a composition made between the prior and convent and Sir John de Rokesle, lord of Westwood manor, by which the several services due from him as such to the prior and convent, for their manor of Copton were released, on the payment of a small yearly rent in lieu of them.

King Edward II. in his 10th year, granted to the prior and convent, free-warren in all their demesne lands, which they possessed in Copton and Ham, among other places, at the time of the charter granted to them by his grandfather king Henry III. About which time the manors of Copton and Ham were valued at 25l. yearly income. (fn. 2).

In which state these manors continued till the dissolution of the priory in the 31st year of Henry VIII. when they were surrendered, among the rest of the possessions of it, into the king's hands, where they did not remain long, for the king settled them by his dotation-charter, in his 33d year, on his new-erected dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose possessions they still remain.

A court leet and court baron is held for these manors, which extend into Davington, Luddenham, Stone, and Buckland; at which court a borsholder is chosen for the borough of Copton and Stone.

In the 29th year of Henry VIII. the prior and convent had leased their manors of Copton, Selgrave, and Hamme, with their appurtenances, near Faversham, to Thomas Harrington, at the yearly rent of twenty-two pounds, and forty-one quarters of good, heavy and sweet corn, of the rase measure, and forty-two quarters of barley, of the like sort and measure, excepting all escheats, strays, waifs, &c. This lease, after the dissolution of the priory, anno 32 Henry VIII. being surrendered into the king's hands, he granted to him another lease, at the yearly rent of forty-three pounds.

In the 17th year of queen Elizabeth, Thomas Elmeley was lessee to the dean and chapter for these manors; but in the 33d year of that reign Thomas Clive held them in lease, and resided at Copton, as did his son Sir Christopher Clive, who bore for his arms, On a fess, three mullets, between three wolves heads, erased. (fn. 3) In the reign of king James I. Sir Humphry Tufton held them, as did his descendants till the middle of king Charles II.'s reign, when the lease of them was become vested in Dr. James Jeffreys, prebendary of Canterbury, who dying in 1688, was buried in that cathedral, in whose descendants the possession of these manors were continued down to James Jeffreys, esq. who parted with his interest in the lease to John Waller, esq. the present lessee of them.

IT HAS BEEN MENTIONED before, under the description of Sheldwich, that THE MANOR OF SELGRAVE is situated both in that parish and this of Preston, but that it has been of long time separated into moieties. Of the moiety in Sheldwich, an account has been already given there; of the moiety in this parish, the family of Northwood seems to have been possessed, from one of whom, about the latter end of king Edward III.'s reign, it was alienated to Sir Ralph de Spigurnell, admiral of the king's fleet, both in the north and south parts of England. He lies buried in the Grey Friars church, in London. (fn. 4) At his death he gave it to his wife Elizabeth, and she sold it, about the 19th year of king Richard II. to the prior and convent of Christ-church, in Canterbury, for three hundred and fifty marcs sterling, being the money given to them by Joane Burwash, lady Mohun, of Dunstar, on condition of their founding a perpetual chantry for her in the church of their priory, and that her tomb there should be honorably kept up. With the priory it continued till the dissolution of it anno 31 Henry VIII. when it was surrendered, among the rest of the possessions of it, into the king's hands, where it did not remain long, for the king, in his 33d year, settled it by his dotation-charter on his new-founded dean and chapter of Canterbury, whose inheritance it still remains. A court-baron is held for this manor.

It has been constantly held in lease under the dean and chapter, by the same lessees as the manors of Copton and Ham before-mentioned, under the description of which an account of them may be seen. John Waller, esq. is the present lessee of it.

The shyreway or lane, called Portway, otherwise Porters, otherwise Selgrave-lane, leading from Copton to Whitehill, in Ospringe, seems to separate this moiety of it from the other on the south side of this lane. At the entrance of it, next to Copton, under a yew-tree, is a hole, where the manor-court is called on, and this place appears to have been the scite of the antient manor-house.

WESTWOOD is an eminent manor in the south-east part of this parish, which was antiently part of the possessions of the family of Rokesle, by whom it was held of the barony of Crevequer, by the tenure of performing ward to Dover castle. In the reign of Edward II. Sir Richard de Rokesle became by inheritance the owner of it, holding it by knight's services of the before mentioned barony. He died without male issue, leaving by Joane, sister and heir of John de Criol, two daughters his coheirs, of whom Agnes, the eldest, married to Thomas de Poynings, seems to have entitled her husband to it, who in the 2d year of Edward III. obtained a charter of free warren for all his demesne lands in this manor of Westwood among others.

In his descendants it continued down to Robert de Poynings, who died in the 25th year of king Henry VI. He had two sons, of whom Richard, the eldest, died in his life-time, leaving a daughter Eleanor, married to Sir Henry Percy, afterwards earl of Northumberland, and Robert de Poynings, the younger son, became entitled to this manor, and was succeeded in it by his son and heir Sir Edward Poynings, who was much in favor with king Henry VII. and VIII. being lord warden of the five ports, and knight of the garter. He died in the 14th year of the latter reign, 1522, not only without legitimate issue, but without any collateral kindred, who could make claim to his estates, so that this manor, among his other estates, escheated to the crown, and was afterwards granted to Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex, whose lands were disgavelled by the act of the 31st of that reign, on whose attainder and execution the year afterwards, they reverted again to the crown; after which the king, in his 36th year, granted this manor to John Limsey, to hold in capite by knight's service. He died in the 38th year of that reign, and his son Edward Limsey, in the 38th year of queen Elizabeth, alienated it to John Gerard, who was afterwards knighted, and was lord-mayor of London in 1601, and on his brother Sir William Gerrard, or Garrard's death in 1607, without male issue, succeeded to his estates at Sittingborne, and died in 1625, of his sons, the eldest, Sir John Garrard, inherited this manor, and being of Whethamsted, in Hertfordshire, was created a baronet; at length his descendant Sir John Garrard, bart. of Whethamsted, in Hertfordshire, dying in 1700, and leaving an only daughter and heir Mary, she carried this manor, with his other estates in this county, in marriage to Montague Drake, esq. of Shardeloes, in Buckinghamshire, whose grandson William Drake, esq. of Shardeloes, in Amersham, died possessed of this manor, with the adjoining one of Ovens, in 1797, having had by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of John Raworth, esq. four sons and two daughters, of the former, William Drake, esq. was M.P. for Amersham, and died s. p. in 1795. Thomas took the name of Tyrwhit, and is now M.P. for that borough; John Drake is LL.D. rector of Amersham, and vicar of Deptford, and Charles Drake, esq. who has taken the name of Gerrard, is likewise M.P. for Amersham, in whom, as heirs to their father, this manor, and the rest of the estates in this county are now vested.

A court baron is held for this manor, which extends into the parishes of Faversham, Selling, Sheldwich, Ospringe, Badlesmere, Hernhill, Chilham, Charing, Ewell, near dover, and into the island of Harty.

MACKNAR, corruptly so called for Makenade, is a manor at the eastern boundary of this parish, which was at the time of the taking of the general survey of Domesday, part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is described in it, by the name of Machehevet, as follows:

The same Ansfrid holds of the bishop of Baieux, Machehevet. It was taxed at one yoke. The arable land is half a carucate. There are two villeins, paying fiftypence. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth fifty pence, now it is worth sixty pence. Seuuold held it in the time of king Edward.

Four years after which the bishop of Baieux was disgraced, and all his estates were consiscated to the crown.

After which this manor was held by a family who resided at it, and took their surname from it. Peter de Makenade resided here in the 9th year of Edward II. and left several children; on the partition of whose inheritance, made anno 14 Edward III. William de Makenade seems to have succeeded to this estate, and was sheriff in the 33d year of that reign, in which year he died, and was succeeded by John de Makenade, his eldest son, who inherited Makenade, and died s.p. leaving this manor by will to William, son of his brother William, (fn. 5) who died in the 8th year of Henry IV. without male issue, so that Constance, his only daughter, became his heir, who carried it in marriage to John Watership, by whom she had two daughters, Margaret, married to Henry London, and Joane to Thomas Mathew; the latter of whom, on the division of their inheritance, became possessed of this manor. His heirs sold it to Bryanstone, and Thomas Bryanstone, alias Brumston, gent. of Makenade, by his will, vested it in seossees, who in pursuance of it, by deed anno 5 king Henry VI. settled it on John Brumston his son, whole eldest son Thomas at length succeeded to it, whose heirs conveyed the manor of Makenade by deed, anno 26 Henry VIII. to Christopher Hales, gent. of Canterbury; after which it became the property of Tho mas Colepeper, esq. of Bedgbury, who anno 1 and 2 Philip and Mary, sold it to Randolph Johnson, gent. who died possessed of it in the 10th year of queen Elizabeth. His son Ralph Johnson, by deed three years afterwards, conveyed this manor to Martin James, gent. prothonotary of the court of common pleas, who died in 1592, and was succeeded in it by his eldest son Henry James, esq. whose son Sir Henry James, in 1637, joined in settling it on his brother John James, whose son Walter James, esq. of Maidstone, in the 12th year of king Charles II. conveyed it to Richard Garford, stationer, of London. He left an only daughter and heir Mary, who married first Sir Samuel Sterneil, alias Starling, and alderman of London, after whose death, on her marriage in 1670 with George Villiers, viscount Grandison, the made a settlement of this manor, which in 1704 was become vested in Mary White, of Boughton Blean, who married Fleetwood Tildesley, gent. who the next year alienated it to Edward Giles, yeoman, of Gisbourne, in Selling, who resided there, on an estate purchased by his ancestor John Giles, of Throwley, of John Norton, of Northwood, in the 37th year of king Henry VIII. Edward Giles dying intestate, this manor descended to his two sons and coheirs in gavelkind, George and Edward, the latter of whom, in 1716, sold his moiety to his brother George, who died at Makenade in 1753, leaving an only daughter and heir Mary, then the widow of John Morgan, gent. of Faversham, whose son, Mr. George Morgan is the present owner, and having rebuilt this house, now resides in it.

PERRY-COURT, called in Domesday, Perie, is an estate in this parish, which at the time of the taking of that survey, was part of the possessions of Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, under the general description of whose lands it is thus entered in it:

The same Ansfrid holds of the bishop of Baieux, Perie. It was taxed at one yoke. There is one borderer, paying five-pence. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, and now, it was and is worth sixteen shillings. Wlui beld it of king Edward.

The same Ansfrid held of the bishop, Perie. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is one carucate. There are three borderers, and one mansion in the city of sixteen-pence. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and now, it was and is worth twenty-four shillings. Ulveva held it of king Edward.

The two descriptions above-mentioned seem designed for two different estates, for in the beginning of the record mention is made of Piria et alter Piria, i. e. of one Piria and of another Piria; which of them relates to this, I am not able to distinguish, but one of them certainly does.

On the bishop of Baieux's disgrace, four years afterwards, this manor, among the rest of his estates, was consiscated to the crown. After which it was granted to the eminent family of Crevequer, who held it with other lands, of the king in capite by barony, by the service of maintaining a certain number of soldiers for the defence of Dover-castle.

Of them this manor was held, by the like service, by a family who took their name from it. Randal de Pirie held it, as one knight's see, in the 13th year of king John, as appears by the scutage then levied. William de Pirie held it in like manner in the reign of king Edward II. of Nicholas de Selling, and he of Hamo de Crevequer. (fn. 6) John Perie, his descendant, afterwards held it, but in the 20th year of king Edward III. it seems to have passed into other hands, for that year, as appears by the book of aid, the heirs of John de Barrett, William de Apulderfield, the lady Sawsamere, the heirs of Robert de Okmanton, and their coparceners, were charged for one knight's fee, which John de Pery before held in Pery, of Nicholas de Sellinge.

By the above entry it appears, that this manor was then divided in the hands of different owners, but the manor of Perry itself, with the mansion and demesne lands round it, descended to Robert Barret, esq. who died in the 9th year of king Richard II. possessed of Perry court, and of lands likewise at Hawkhurst, leaving two sons, Valentine and John, the latter of whom, by marriage with Alice, sister and coheir to her brother John de Belhouse, became possessed of Belhouse, in Essex, where his descendants continued for some generations afterwards, one of whom, Edward Barret, was created Lord Newburg in 1627, and dying s. p. in 1645, by will devised his estates to his kinsman Richard Lennard, who took the name and arms of Barret, whose grandfather Henry Lennard, lord Dacre, had married Chrysogona, grand-daughter of Sir John Baker, of Sissinghurst, by Elizabeth, daughter and sole heir of Thomas Dyneley, of Wolverton, in Hampshire, and widow of George Barret, the direct ancestor of Edward, lord Newburg, abovementioned; which Thomas Dyneley was descended from Robert, son of William Dyneley, alias Dingley, of Wolverton, who lived afterwards at South Foscott, in Berkshire, which he had in right of his wife Margaret daughter and heir of Foscott, by whom he had Robert above mentioned, and Stephen, ancestor of the Dingleys, of Wolverton and Swaston, in the Isle of Wight, of whose descendants some notice has already been taken under Easling.

Richard Lennard, who took the name and arms of Barret, was ancestor of the late Thomas Barret Lennard, lord Dacre, who died s. p.

This family of Baret, Barret, or Barrett, as the name is variously spelt, is of a very antient and respectable account in this kingdom. The ancestor of it is re corded in the Battle abbey roll, as one of those who came over with William, duke of Normandy, and was present at the battle of Hastings in 1066. His descendants afterwards spread themselves over almost every part of Britain, and into Ireland. Valentine Barret before mentioned, of Perry-court, bore for his arms, Argent, a fess dancette, gules, in chief, three mullets pierced, sable; his brother John bore Barry, of four pieces, argent and gules, counterchanged, per pale; which latter might perhaps be the elder brother, as his arms appear by the antient pedigrees to have been those of his father and ancestors. To one or other of these coats those of the several branches of the Barrets, settled in different counties of England, seem in general to bear some allusion, viz. either mullets with a chief, or fess dancette; or a fess, or bars counterchanged, per pale, as appears by the several books of heraldry, and different local histories, in most of which there is some mention made of the name of Barret, and in the British Museum, among the Harleian MSS. there are several pedigrees of them.

Valentine Barret, the eldest son of Robert as before mentioned, inherited Perry court, where he resided, and dying in 1440, anno 19 Henry VI. was buried in the chancel of Preston church, where his portraiture in brass, habited in armour, with his sword and spurs on, still remains, as does that of Cicele his wife, who died two years afterwards. She was the youngest daughter and coheir of Marcellus at Lese, and coheir likewise to her uncle Sir Richard ate Lese, of Lees-court. (fn. 7) Their only daughter and heir Joane, married John Darell, esq. of Calehill, whose first wife she was. Their grandson Sir John Darell, of Calehill, left two sons, Sir James Darell, and John Darell, gent. who divided this estate between them; the latter of whom, in the 1st year of king Henry VIII. alie nated his part of it to Stephen Jennins, and he, in the 6th year of it, conveyed it to Thomas Michell, who two years afterwards alienated it to Robert Dokket, and he in the 10th year of that reign, conveyed it to Allan Percy, who sold it to Richard Parke, esq. of Malmains, in Stoke, who having purchased the other moiety of it that year of Sir James Darell, became the sole proprietor of this manor, which his daughter and sole heir Elizabeth carried in marriage to John Roper, esq. of Linsted, afterwards created lord Teynham, who in the 25th year of queen Elizabeth, settled it on his son Christopher Roper, esq. and he afterwards alienated it to William Finch, esq. of Sewards, in Linsted, who dying without male issue, his only daughter and heir Catherine carried it in marriage to Sir Drue Drury, gentleman usher of the privy chamber to queen Elizabeth, (fn. 8) who in king James I.'s reign alienated it to Thomas Bennet, esq. who bore for his arms, Gules, a besant between three demi lions, rampant, couped, argent. His eldest son Richard Bennet, of Kew, in Surry, leaving an only daughter Dorothy, by his second wife, she carried it in marriage to Sir Henry Capel, second son of Arthur, lord Capel, and afterwards himself, in 1692, created lord Capel, of Tewksbury, whose arms were, Gules, a lion rampant, between three croslets fitchee, or, with a proper difference. She survived him, and died possessed of this estate, which had then lost even the reputation of a manor, in 1721, at her house at Kew-green, in Surry, leaving no issue by him. By her will in 1721 she devised this estate, by the description of her farm and lands, called Parry, alias Perry court, with the lands belonging to it in Preston, and the adjoining parishes, to trustees, for the benefit of twelve charity schools, in several different counties, of which Faversham in this county was one, the clear profits of it to be paid by her trustees and their heirs yearly to them, in equal proportions, according to the rules and directions set down in her will, the money to be paid yearly in the chapel of Kew green on May 12, immediately after divine service is ended; and in case no such schools should be set up, she directs the twelsth part of Kew school (one of those mentioned in her will) to be applied to the putting out apprentices the children of the poor inhabitants of that parish, and the other eleven parts, in default of any one or more of the said schools being set up, to be divided among such as are, and if there are no such, then to the support of six widows of clergymen of the church of England; and when her trustees should be reduced to two or one surviving, that then they or he should convey this estate to eight or ten other new trustees, and their heirs, upon the like trusts, to be nominated out of the most wealthy and substantial inhabitants of Kew, the person who should enjoy her mansion and estate of Kew, and the minister of the said chapel to be two of them: and she directed that the like method should be observed of appointing and making new trustees for her intended charity for ever afterwards, and to this trust and use this estate continues appropriated at this time. John Waller, esq. is the present occupier, and resides in it.

There was a family named Hart, who were settled in this parish so early as the reign of king Edward III. one of whom, Thomas le Hert appears to have been mayor of Faversham in the 2d year of that reign, whose arms, as appears by the seal appendant to a deed, in the Surrenden library, were Quarterly, in the first quarter a mullet, in the second, and in base a stag's head, caboshed.

PRESTON-HOUSE is a feat situated about a field's distance northward of the London road, and not far from the church; it formerly belonged to the Finch's, descended from Vincent Herbert, alias Finch, of Ne therfield, in Sussex, and a younger branch of those of Eastwell. They resided here in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and several of them lie buried in this church. At length, about the latter end of king Charles II.'s reign, this seat, with the estate belonging to it, was sold by one of this family to John Brinkhurst, esq. of Great Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, whose son Thomas Brinkhurst, esq. resided here, and afterwards alienated it to Onslow Burrish, esq. who parted with it to Stephen Beckingham, esq. whose son of the same name still owns the farm or estate formerly part of it. But Preston-house itself, with the gardens and appurtenances belonging to it, was sold by him to Thomas Dawes, esq. who resided here; after whose death his only surviving son Medley Darcy Dawes, and Sarah his sister, (who had a life-estate in it) together with Stephen Philpot her husband, joined in the sale of it, in the year 1769, to Thomas Smith, jun. esq. who resided at it. He left two sons John and George Smith, the latter of whom sold it a few years ago to John Bax, esq. of London, who pulled down the old house, and on the scite of it built a large handsome seat, in which he now resides. In 1790 he married Miss Jane Bonham, of Warley-place, in Essex.

THE NOBLE FAMILY OF BOYLE was once seated in this parish, and, as I conjecture, at Preston-house above-mentioned, before the Finch's purchased it; however that is, Roger, second son of Roger Boyle, the second son of John Boyle, of Herefordshire, resided at Preston, and married Joane, daughter of John Naylor, gent. of Canterbury. He died at his house here in 1576, and was buried in the high chancel of this church, to whose memory, and that of his descendants, a most sumptuous monument of statuary marble was erected in 1629, by his second son Richard Boyle, earl of Cork.


A house and an acre of land near Kilngrove, or the Stone-steps, was given to the poor, but by whom is unknown. It was let in 1697, for 99 years, at 15s. per annum, for the use of the poor.

Mr. Thomas Smith, late of Westwood, left by will in 1730, to the poor, 30l. the interest of it to be applied to put poor children of the parish to school; and John Smith, esq, of Faversham, to enlarge the charity of his brother, in lieu of that sum, gave a piece of land, containing half an acre, on which there is a dwelling-house and hop-oast. These premises were let in 1736 for 99 years, at 50s. a year, which rent is applied towards that purpose.

Mrs. Elizabeth Sykes, widow of Dr. Sykes, brother to the vicar of this parish, in 1762 left by will the interest of 200l. to be placed in the public funds, with which was bought 209l. 19s. 1d. Red. Bank Ann. to be applied to put out poor children to school in this parish, now of the annual produce of 61. 3s. 6d.

The Rev George Sykes, A. M. late vicar of Preston, left by will in 1766, 100l. to raise out of the public funds an annual sum, to be given in bread annually to the poor, vested in the 3 per cents, and of the annual produce of 3l.

Mrs. Mary Simmons, of Perry-farm, by will in 1780, left 100l. to be placed in the public funds, and the produce of it to be disposed of in bread to the poor, which sum is vested in the 3 per cent. reduced annuities, and amounts to 169l. 121. the annual produce of which is 5l. 1s. 10d.

The poor annually relieved are about thirty-six, casually thirty.

Preston is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Ospringe.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Catherine, is small, consisting of an isle and a chancel, with another chancel on the south side. The steeple, which is a low pointed one, in which are three bells, stands in the middle of the south side. There are some few remains of painted glass in the windows of the chancel, and several grave-stones in it, the brasses of all which are missing, excepting those of Valentine Baret and Cicele his wife, 1440; William Mareys, esquire to king Henry V. and afterwards to Henry, cardinal of England, 1470, and for Emmola Lee, 1440. At the east end of the isle is a monument, with their effigies kneeling at a desk, for Thomas Finch, esq. and Bennet Maicott his wife. He died in 1615, her grave-stone, with figure in brass, is near it, obt. 1612; it was erected by John Finch, of Grovehurst, his nephew. On a large handsome tomb on the south side of the high chancel, in full proportion, lie the effigies of Roger Boyle, esq. and his wife Joane, whose bodies are buried near it. At the east end, is the figure of a bishop, in his robes kneeling, being that of his eldest son Dr. John Boyle, bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, in Ireland. At the west end is the figure of his second son Sir Richard Boyle, earl of Cork, kneeling in his robes, who was born in Canterbury in 1566; on the other parts of the tomb are inscriptions for others of the family, who were buried here likewise.

His descendants were afterwards ennobled by the several titles of earls of Burlington, Cork and Orrery, viscounts Carleton and Boyle, of Kinelmeaky, and lords Carleton and Clifford. Michael Boyle, next brother to Roger Boyle, was first of London, but he afterwards seems to have resided at Canterbury, for two of his children were born within the precincts of the cathedral church there. This monument is now in a most ruinous state, the decayed fragments, both of the figures and inscriptions, lying scattered over every part of it, so that unless it has the assistance of a speedy repair, it will very soon be beyond the power of art to recover it. On the opposite side is a mural monument for Silvester, wife of John Borough, eldest daughter of Robert Denne, gent. of Denne-hill, obt. 1609. In the chapel, on the south side of the church, there are several memorials of the Hulses, of Chartham. At the east end of the vicarage-house, adjoining to the church-yard, was a small chapel, now converted into part of the dwelling-house, in the east window of which were painted the figures of St. Anthony with his pig, and of St. Catherine, under whom was the portraiture of a vicar of Preston, habited in a purple cope, and kneeling, with a label from his mouth, on which were these words, Virgo Katharina peccantibus esto benigna, and underneath him, Dus Johns Sturrey, Vicarius de Preston. Above the figures of the two saints, were the two coats of Archbishop Arundel, and of the Drylands. (fn. 9)

The church was part of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury, and remained so till archbishop Stratford, in the 14th year of king Edward III. exchanged it, together with that of Boughton under Blean, with the abbot and convent of Faversham, for the manor of Tring, in Hertfordshire. After which the archbishop appropriated this church to that abbey, with a reservation of the advowson of the vicarage, and a portion of the great tithes of Mackenade and Westwood farms, towards the endowment of it, and a pension out of it of two marcs and an half sterling yearly to the sacrist of Christ-church, towards the repair of the church there; which was confirmed soon afterwards by a bull of pope Boniface I.

In which state this church remained till the dissolution of the abbey in the 30th year of Henry VIII. when it came, with the rest of the revenues of it, into the king's hands, where it remained but a short time, for that prince, in his 33d year, settled it on his newerected dean and chapter of Canterbury, with whom the inheritance of it remains at this time. John Waller, esq. is the present lessee of the parsonage.

This parsonage had been let to ferme by the abbot and convent some time before, at the yearly rent of 13l. 6s. 8d. but at the time of the dissolution of the abbey it was in their own hands.

The advowson of the vicarage, according to the reservation of archbishop Stratford as above-mentioned, remained part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, and does so at this time, his grace the archbishop being the present patron of it.

It is valued in the king's books at 8l. 12s. 6d. and the yearly tenths at 17s. 3d. and is of the yearly certified value of 77l. 17s. 11d. In 1640 it was valued at seventy pounds. Communicants sixty.

Seventy-four acres of land in this parish, belonging to the manor of Plumford, the property of the earl of Guildford, are tithe-free.

Church of Preston.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. Peter Jackson, A. M. April 15, 1595, obt. Jan. 24, 1617. (fn. 10)
John Ridley, Feb. 12, 1617.
Nathaniel Wilsnot, ejected 1662.
Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. Francis Worrall, A. M. Dec. 31, 1662, obt. Oct. 1671. (fn. 11)
The Archbishop. John Crocker, April 15, 1672, obt. Dec. 1683.
John Gamlin, A. M. June 7, 1684, obt. 1715. (fn. 12)
George Sykes, A. M. Oct. 15, 1715, obt. June 9, 1766. (fn. 13)
Francis Frederick Giraud, A. M. presented 1766, the present vicar. (fn. 14)


  • 1. Dugd. Mon. vol. i. p. 21. Decem. Script. col. 2221.
  • 2. Batteley's Sommer, pt. ii. append. No. xxiii. p. 50.
  • 3. See Vistn. co. Kent, 1619, pedigree of Clive.
  • 4. Strype's Stow's Survey, book iii. p. 134.
  • 5. Pedigree of Makenade, in 1587, in the possession of Martin James, then the possessor of this estate, now in the British Museum. Harl. MSS. No. 245-25.
  • 6. Roll of Knights Fees in the Exchequer.
  • 7. See Lees-court, in Sheldwich.
  • 8. See Sewards, in Linsted, before, p. 302.
  • 9. See Lewis's History of Faversham, appendix, p. 28.
  • 10. He lies buried in the chancel of this church.
  • 11. Likewise for some time vicar of Faversham.
  • 12. And vicar of Faversham.
  • 13. Likewise rector of Hawkswell, in Essex, by dispensation in 1736. In 1757 a dispensation passed for his holding Raley, in that county, with Preston.
  • 14. Perpetual curate of Ore, and master of the grammar-school of Faversham.