Parishes: Frittenden

Pages 113-119

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.

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LIES the next parish north-eastward. So much of it as is in the borough of Stephurst, is in the hundred of Barkley, and the rest of it is in the hundred of Cranbrooke. The liberty of the court of the bailiwie of the Seven Hundreds claims paramount over it, and part of it is within the manor of Hollinghorne; but there are several other small manors likewise subordinace to it. It is wholly in the division of West Kent.

THIS PARISH is very narrow from east to west, and contains about seventy houses. It has an unpleasant and forlorn aspect. The soil is a deep, stiff clay, very wet and unkindly for tillage, informuch that, in a rainy season, the occupiers have but little produce from their lands, which consequently keeps them very poor. The southern part of it is entirely convered with coppice wood; besides which, the shaves are frequent, and the hedge-rows broad round the fields, which have quantities of large oak trees interspersed throughout them. The roads, from the soil, except in the driest seasons, are so deep and miry, as to be almost impassable; though it lies so obscure, that there is but little traffic through it. The village, which is but small, stands on a hill near the middle of the parish, and the church close to it. One of the streams from Cranbrooke runs across the parish north-eastward, and turns a corn-mill belonging to David Papillon, esq. late of Acrise, and there was formerly another southward of it, the scite of which is still called the Old Mill. Near the present mill, not half a mile north-west from the village, is a green called Frittenden-brook, which the occupiers of the houses round it stock at their pleasure; and on the other side of the stream is another, called Singstedgreen. Sir Horace Mann is owner of more than half of this parish.

THERE WAS formerly a family of the name of Webbe, which was resident here for many years. William Webbe was of Frittenden anno 23 Henry VI. and was descended from Richard Webbe, who lived anno 17 Edward II. but they became extinct here about the end of the last century, ending in a female heir Lucy, sole daughter of Thomas Webbe, esq. of this place, who married Sir William Dutton Colt, envoy to Hanover in 1692. (fn. 1) They bore for their arms, Or, a cross quarterly, counterchanged, gules, and sable; in the first quarter, an eagle, displayed of the third. The scite of their mansion, which has been some time pulled down, passed from the heirs of this family to Page, and Mr. Stephen Page, of Maidstone, in 1777, devised it by will to Mr. John Seager, of the same place, brewer, the present owner of it.

There is a fair held here on Sept. 8,. yearly, for toys, ribbons, &c.

THE MANOR of comden, alias Comenden, is situated in the south-west part of this parish. It was part of the antient possessions of the priory of Leeds, where it remained till the suppression of that priory, in the 31st year of Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands; who in his 32d year, granted it to Walter Hendeley, esq. attorney of his court of augmentation, to hold in capite by knight's service, and he, two years afterwards, alienated it to Sir John Baker, of Sissinghurst, in Cranbrooke, in whose descendants it has continued down in the same succession as that place, till it was sold, in like manner with it, to the trustees of Sir Horace Mann, bart. who is the present owner of it.

BEWPER was once accounted a manor here, and, with Great and Little Ferburst, was part of the revenues of the abbey of Faversham; before which, as appears by the Testa de Nevil, it was the property of Roger de Leyborne, who owned it in the reign of Edward I. and then got the tenure of it changed from sergeantry to knight's service. This estate continued among the possessions of that abbey till the surrendry of it, in the 30th year of Henry VIII. when it came into the hands of the crown; but it had been demised by the abbot and convent, in the 29th year of that reign, for ninetynine years, at the yearly rent of 2l. 19s. 3d. (fn. 2) to Henry Wylford, in which state it then came into the hands of the crown, and was granted, subject to that demise, in the 35th year of that reign, to Sir Thomas Moile, who, not long after, passed away his interest in it to Robert Prat, and his son Mr. Francis Prat, in the 1st year of queen Elizabeth, conveyed it, by fine, to Mr. Edward Bathurst, who, in the same reign, sold it to Sir Richard Baker, of Sissinghurst, and he seems to have become entitled to the actual possession of this estate, which continued in his descendants, in the same manner as Sissinghurst, till it was alienated to the trustees of Sir Horace Mann, bart. who is the present owner of it.

WALLINGHURST and BUCKHURST, are two small obsolete manors in this parish, which, by some means that I cannot at present discover, were come into the hands of the crown in the reign of Henry VIII. who, in his 29th year, granted them to Sir Thomas Cromwell, lord Cromwell, afterwards created earl of Essex, whose lands were disgavelled by the act of the 31st year of that reign, on whose attainder the year afterwards, they returned again to the crown, whence they were, the same year, granted to Sir John Baker, of Siffinghurst, in whose descendants they continued down, with that seat, till they were sold with it, to the trustees of Sir Horace Mann, bart. who is the present possessor of them.

UPPER PEASRIDGE, alias POUND-FARM, is a manor here, which was antiently part of the extensive possessions of the great family of Badlesmere, in which it remained till Bartholomew de Badlesmere forfeited it, for treason, to the crown, in the 15th year of king Edward II. as appears by the inquisition, which was not taken after his death till the 2d year of Edward III. Notwithstanding this, his young son Giles de Badlesmere found so much favour, that in the 7th year of that reign he had possession granted of his inheritance, though he was not then of age. He died in the 12th year of that reign, s. p. (fn. 3) upon which his four sisters became his coheirs, the eldest of whom marrying John de Vere, earl of Oxford, on a partition of their estates, he in her right, became entitled to it, and died possessed of it in the 34th year of that reign; (fn. 4) and in his descendants this manor continued till the reign of king Henry VI. when Richard de Vere, earl of Oxford, passed it away by sale to St. Leger, in which name it remained till the reign of Philip and Mary, when it was sold to Lone, descended from those of that name in Lancashire, in which name it remaiend for several descents; at length it was alienated to Weston, of Cranbrooke. John Weston, clotheir, of that place, died possessed of it in 1694, as did his son of the same name, in 1714; his son John Weston, esq. of Wilsley-green, in Cranbrooke, died possessed of it a few years ago, leaving Elizabeth his wife surviving, and several children by her. She now resides at Upper Wilsley, in Cranbrooke, and is the present possessor of this manor.


THOMAS IDENDEN, by will in 1566, gave, for the benefit of poor maids marriages, for the relief of poor housholders, and for such deeds of charity as should be thought most needful, at the discretion of the churchwardens and four honest men, chosen from time to time by the parishioners, a house and land, containing twenty-six acres, new vested as above, and of the annual produce of 21l.

THE ABOVE TRUSTEES purchased in 1641, of Richard Webbe, of this parish, for the use of the poor above-mentioned, a messuage, and close by the church-yard gate. now vested in the same trustees, and of the annual produce of two guinea.

AN ACRE OF LAND adjoining to the church yard, was given to the poor by persons unknown, and of the annual produce of 1l. 2s. 6d.

The poor relieved annually are about sixty; casually 140.

FRITTENDEN is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Charing.

The church consists of two isles and two chancels, having a spire steeple, in which are six bells. It is dedicated to St. Mary. In the chancel is a monument for the Rev. Henry Bagnall, rector, 1761, arms, Barry of four, or, and ermine; over all, a hour rimpant, azure; and a memorial for Elizabeth, sole daughter and heir of Robert Perry, gent. of this parish, obt. 1646, æt. 17; arms, On a bend, three spears.

It is a rectory, the patronage of which was for some time owned by the Bakers, of Sissinghurst, and next by the family of Webbe, of this place. William Webbe, esq. of Frittenden, was patron of it at the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, as was his son Richard at the latter end of king James I. but they do not seem to have continued so long afterwards, and in the reign of Charles II. William Daines, of London, was become entitled to it. In later times it became the property of Bagnall, and Mr. Henry Bagnall, clerk, rector of this parish, died possessed of it in 1761, leaving by Judith his wife, eldest daughter of Anthony Paull, gent. of High Halden, two daughters, Anne and Elizabeth, his coheirs, in whom the interest of it seems at this time to be vested.

This rectory is valued in the king's books at 15l. 18s. 9d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 11s. 1¾d.

In 1578 there were communicants here one hundred and fifty six.

Church of Frintienden.

Or by whom presented.
William Webbe, gent. of Frittenden Edward Hargrave, July 3, 1594, obt. 1619. (fn. 5)
Richard Webbe, gent. Sanderson Webbe, A. B. Dec. 23, 1619, obt. 1620.
Richard Bonde, A. M. Nov. 2, 1620.
William Dell, May 20, 1635. (fn. 6)
Robert Clarke, obt. 1666.
Wm. Daines, gent. of London. Robert Newton, A. M. Jan. 23, 1666, obt. March 20, 1725. (fn. 7)
Thomas Bagnall, A. M. Oct. 30, 1725, obt. 1726.
Henry Bagnall, A. M. May 6, 1726, obt. March 28, 1761. (fn. 8)
Henry Frend, A. B. Oct 3, 1761, the present rector.


  • 1. See Collins's Bar. vol. v. p. 47. Heraldic Vistn. of Kent, anno 1619. Pedigree Webbe. Her. off. book D. 18. f. 5.
  • 2. See Bailiffs Accounts, Augtn. off. Jacob's Faversh. p. 190.
  • 3. See an account of the Badlesmeres, vol. vi. p. 469.
  • 4. See more of the Veres, vol. vi. of this history, p. 474.
  • 5. He lies buried in the chancel, where his inscription remains on brass, but partly hid under the altar-rails.
  • 6. Presented by the king, being vacant for simony. Rym. Fæt. vol. xix, p. 772.
  • 7. He lies buried in the chancel, within the altar-rails. He died æt. 85.
  • 8. He lies buried in the chancel, as mentioned above.