Parishes: Rolvenden

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

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'Parishes: Rolvenden', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7, (Canterbury, 1798) pp. 183-200. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

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LIES the next parish eastward from Benenden. It is universally called, and in general spelt Rounden. The court of the bailiwic of the Seven Hundreds claims paramount over this parish.

THE PARISH of Rolvenden is pleasantly situated, most of it in a dry and healthy country, the soil of it being much the same as that of Benenden last described. It had formerly the mansions of many respectable families resident in it, interspersed in almost every part of it, but they are now several of them converted into farm-houses; the high turnpike road from thence towards Tenterden leading through it. There are about one hundred houses and five hundred inhabitants in it. The village, with the church, stands on high ground, nearly in the centre of the parish, the above road passing along the northern part of it; it is watered by two or three streamlets, which crossing this parish at small distances from each other, run on eastward, and joining a stream from Tenterden, separate the two parishes, and from the eastern boundary of this of Rolvenden. There is but little wood in this parish, what there is, being near the southern boundaries of it.

About half a mile south-eastward from the church, on the opposite side of the road, is a seat called KingsGate-House, which has been for some generations in the possession of the family of Weller. Alexander Weller owned it in the reign of king Charles I. and his descendant John Weller, esq. rear-admiral of the navy, died here possessed of it in 1772, he gave it by will to his brother Nicholas, who died in the East-Indies, and his son Mr. Robert Weller, is the present possessor of it.

A branch of the family of Maplesden, clothiers, were settled here, at the manor of Maplesden in this parish, in the reign of Henry VIII. which now belongs to John Beardsworth, esq.

THE RIVER ROTHER, which divides the parishes of Sandhurst and Newenden from Sussex, and those of Rolvenden, Tenterden, and Apledore, from the Isle of Oxney, about the year 1736, was so swarved, that the proprietors of the adjoining marsh lands were obliged to purchase and cut a new channel through Wittresham level, from Maytham-ferry to Blackwall on the south side of the island, for the passage of the waters; whereupon the course of that river, for the space of five miles or more, became inverted, and instead of running from Maytham to Smalhyth and Reading, in Ebony parish, to the east, now runs from thence to Maytham westward, and thence goes into the new channel.

Many commissions were issued formerly, on the complaints of several of the owners of lands hereabouts, for the safety of the marshes in this and the adjoining parishes, and to oblige the other respective land owners to repair and keep the banks, &c. against the sea, from the reign of king Edward I. to that of king Henry VI. and among others, those especially near the sea coast, between Smalhede and Mayhamme; between the latter and Newenden, and Bodisham bridge, and between Maytham and a certain place called the Pendyng, in Rolvynden and Tenterden, all which may be seen at large in Dugdale's History of Imbanking, &c. p. 40, 42, 47, 83.

SUBORDINATE to the court of the Seven Hundreds is the Manor Of Lambin, alias Halden, which is situated in the north-east part of this parish, and had the former of those names from the antient proprietor of it, Lambin de Langham, who held it by knight's service, as appears by the Testa de Nevil, in the 20th year of Henry III. His descendants continued in the possession of it till the beginning of king Edward III.'s reign, when it went by purchase into the family of Halden, who fixed their name on it, in addition to its former one of Lambin; and William, son of John de Halden, died possessed of it in the 50th year of that reign, and lies buried in the nave of this church. His son John de Halden died in the reign of Henry IV. and was buried near his father, leaving an only daughter and heir Joane, who carried this manor in marriage to William Guldeford, esq. of Hemsted, whose descendants, though they continued possessed of their more antient seat of Hemsted, in the adjoining parish of Benenden, yet removed to this mansion of Halden, and made it their principal residence, and from time to time kept their shrievalties here. At length Sir Richard Guldeford, knight-banneret and of the garter, died possessed of it about the year 1500, leaving by his first wife, two sons, Edward, to whom he gave this manor of Halden; and George, to whom he gave that of Hemsted. Sir Edward Guldeford, the eldest son, was a man of much eminence and distinction, being marshal of Calais, lord warden and constable of Dovercastle. He had a son Richard, who died in Spain, s. p. and a daughter Jane, who became her brother's heir, and married Sir John Dudley, afterwards duke of Northumberland, who in her right became entitled to this manor; which he appears to have been possessed of in the 28th year of Henry VIII. Soon after which, either by purchase or exchange, it came into the hands of the crown, where it staid some time; the mansion and park continuing in the king's own occupation; and the demesne lands of it being demised for a term by the king to Sir John Baker, his attorney-general; to whom this manor of Halden itself, (the scite of the mansion, together with the demesne lands belonging to it being excepted) was granted some years afterwards in fee. The park was disparked by Sir John Baker soon after his grant of it. In the mean time king Edward VI. in his first year, had granted the manor of Halden, with its appurtenances, late parcel of the possessions of Sir Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex, attainted, to John, earl of Warwick, which on his attainder in the 1st year of queen Mary, came again into the hands of the crown, and was then granted to Sir John Baker as above-mentioned. Since which this manor continued in his descendants, in like manner as Sissinghurst, in Cranbrooke, till it was at length sold with it, not many years ago, to the trustees of Sir Horace Mann, bart. who is the present owner of it.

There are twelve dennes which hold of this manor of Lambyns-court, alias Halden; and on the court-day there are elected twelve officers, called beadles, to collect the rents of assise or quit-rents due from them to it. These dennes lie in Rolvenden, Benenden, Sandhurst, High Halden, Woodchurch, Tenterden, Stone, and in Wittersham.

BUT THE SCITE OF THE MANSION OF HALDEN, alias LAMBYNS-COURT, together with the greatest part of the demesne lands of this manor, which had been demised for a term to Sir John Baker as above-mentioned, were afterwards granted in fee to Sir Henry Sidney, who had married Mary, eldest daughter of John, duke of Northumberland, and he died possessed of these lands in the 28th year of queen Elizabeth. His son Sir Robert Sidney, created earl of Leicester, sold them, at the latter end of that reign, to Sir Thomas Smith, of London, second son of Customer Smith, of Westenhanger, whose grandson Robert Smith, esq. of Bidborough, in the reign of Charles II. alienated them to Robert Gybbon, esq. of Hole in this parish. Since which they have continued down with that seat, in a like succession of ownership, to John Beardsworth, esq. of London, who is the present proprietor of them.

Halden place is now only a large farm house, situated about a mile and a quarter north from the church. The arms of Guldeford still remain, carved in stone, on the stables belonging to it.

The Hole is a seat in this parish, about a mile north-west from the church, situated within the denne of that name. It had antiently owners of that surname, one of whom, Henry at Hole, in the year 1340, demised this place by deed to his two sisters Honor and Alice. How long it continued in their descendants, I have not found; but in the reign of Henry VIII. it was become the property of Mr. Rob. Gybbon, a wealthy clothier, who then exercised that trade here, as did his son John Gybbon, who died possessed of Hole in the 5th year of Edward VI. anno 1550, and there were some of this name, who held lands in this parish as early as the year 1340. A branch of this family was of Pump-house, in the adjoining parish of Benenden; another of it was of Frid, in Bethersden, and ended in two daughters and coheirs, married to Harlestone and Chowte, and from this branch issued those of Charlton, in Bishopsborne. In the descendants of John Gybbon above-mentioned, it continued down to colonel Robert Gybbon, who was possessed of it at the latter end of king Charles I.'s reign. His son Major John Gybbon died in 1707, and was succeeded in it by his brother Robert Gybbon, esq. who was of Hole, where he died in 1719, leaving by Elizabeth his wife, daughter and heir of John Phillips, gent. of Middlesex, one son Phillips, and a daughter Mary, married to James Monnypenny, esq. of this parish. Phillips Gybbon, esq. succeeded his father in this seat, which he resided at, and died here in 1762, bearing for his arms, Azure, a lion rampant-guardant, between three escallops, argent; but in the windows of the hall at Hole, the arms of Gybbon are painted in antient glass, Or, a lion rampant, sable, charged on the shoulder with an escarbuncle, pomettee and florettee of the first; which glass was brought from the seat of Pumphouse, in Benenden, where it had been for a great length of time. Guillim. p. 359, says, Or, a lion rampant, sable, between three pellets, was borne by the name of Gybbon, and was confirmed to Edmund Gybbon, son and heir of Thomas Gybbon, gent. of Rolvenden, by Sir William Segar, in 1629, anno 5 Charles I. but when they altered their bearing to the present coat, I have not found. Phillips Gibbon left an only surviving daughter and heir, married to Philip Jodrel, esq. whom she survived, and dying possessed of this seat in 1775, s. p. she by will gave it, among her other estates in this county, in tail to Mrs. Jefferson, who since marrying with John Beardsworth, esq. of London, he is in her right, entitled to the possession of it.

KEINSHAM, corruptly so called for Cassingham, its proper name, was once accounted a manor here, and was in very early times held by a family so called from their possessing this estate, as well as much other land in this parish, on the denne of Cassingham. William de Cassinghame held it in the reign of Henry III. (fn. 1) in the 20th year of which he paid aid for it, together with Orlovingden, another inconsiderable manor here, as appears by the Testa de Nevil, at the marriage of Isabel the king's sister, as holding it by knight's service, notwithstanding which, part of it, containing one hundred and twenty acres of land, appears by other certain records to have been held at that time by the same William de Cassinghame, of Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, in gavelkind; for that archbishop being empowered so to do by the charter granted by king John to archbishop Hubert, his predecessor, changed the tenure of these lands from gavelkind to knight's service, to hold to the said William and his heirs of the archbishop and his successors, by knight's service, and the rent of 10s. 2d. per annum, and the addition of the same liberties as other knights had of the see of Christchurch, Canterbury. He was succeeded in this estate by his son Ralph de Cassinghame, who left two daughters and coheirs, Petronelia, married to Nicholas Aucher; and Benet, to Bertram de Wylmyngton, against whom the archbishop brought a suit for cutting down his oak and beech in this and the adjoining dennes, to which they pleaded the above change of service, and that the owners had constantly felled them. But the jury sound that the trees were the archbishop's, and that he and his predecessors had always felled them, without let of the owners, and had always taken amends for any trespass of this kind; and that they had in time before, and he did then, take a moiety of the pannage in the said woods.

There remains at this day no footsteps of this right, the reason of which is well accounted for by Mr. Somner as follows, in his Roman Ports, p 112:—In the times of king Edward III. and Richard II the archbishops of Canterbury and prior and convent of Christchurch respectively, among other like lords and owners of the Wealdish dens, finding themselves aggrieved by their tenants there and others, in cutting down and wasting their woods, which on former grants they had expressly reserved from their tenants to themselves, (though it is more probable their title to them was from the above-mentioned custom) in order to free themselves from further care and trouble on this account, entered into a composition, and for a new annual rent of assise, over and above the former services, by indenture of seossment, made the wood over to them in perpetuity, either to be cut down or left standing at the tenants choice. Since which the interest of the lord so compounding has been gone, as to the wood itself, and nothing left but this rent of assise, together with the former services.

And a custom of a contrary nature is set up at present in most manors, if not throughout the whole Weald, under the name of landpeerage, i. e. landownership; by which the owners of the lands on each side of the highway claim to exclude the lord from the property of the soil of the way, and of the trees growing on it.

Notwithstanding the account of the coheirs of Cassingham becoming entitled to this manor, yet the family of Cassinghame was still remaining here a long time afterwards, as appears by the will of Peter Cassingham, of Rolvenden, proved anno 1 Edward IV. 1461, in which he mentions his principal messuage, in which he then dwelt, with his lands in this parish, upon the dennes of Casynghame and Hachysdene, and at Maythame.

Bertram de Wylmyngton above-mentioned, appears by the escheat-rolls to have died possessed of lands here anno 2 Henry IV. Soon after which the Mores, of Benenden, are mentioned in the court-rolls as being owners of it until the reign of Henry VIII. when it was alienated in that reign by John More, esq. to John Gybbon, of this parish, clotheir, who by will in the 5th year of Edward VI. gave this manor, with its lands, rents, and services, to his son John; from whom, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, as appears by the same court-rolls, it went into the possession of William de la Hay, who, in the records of that time, is said to have held one knight's fee of the archbishop in Cassingham, in right of his wife. From this name it went, in the reign of James I. into the name of Everden, or Everinden, a branch of the Everindens, of Everinden-house, in Biddenden, where they are recorded by the private deeds of it to have been resident many hundred years, until the 2d year of queen Mary, when they alienated it; and thence again, in the next reign, to Munn, from whom it passed, in 1685, to Attained Smith, who gave it by will to Attained and Richard Hoare, the latter of whom having come into the possession of the whole of it, by will in 1757 settled it on Mr. William Gibbs, the present possessor of it.

The manor house was formerly very large; but it has been most of it pulled down, so that now it makes but a mean appearance. The Largest House at this time in this hamlet of Keinsham, is one which formerly belonged to John Kadwell, esq. of this parish, whose daughter and coheir Sarah carried it in marriage to the Rev. Thomas Chamberlaine, of Charlton, near Greenwich, who was succeeded in it by Mr. Thomas Chamberlain, his only son, the present possessor of it.

There has not been any court held for this manor for many years.

GREAT MAYTHAM is a manor in the southern part of this parish, which was antiently held by a family who took their name from it. Orable de Maytham, who with her sister Elwisa, held much land in these parts, appears to have been possessed of it in the reign of Edward I. Soon after which it was become the property of John de Malmains, who died possessed of it anno 10 Edward II. In the 20th year of the next reign of Edward III. the heirs of Thomas Malmayns, of Hoo, held this manor by knight's service. Soon after which the Carews, of Beddington, in Surry, were come into the possession of it. Nicholas Carew, esq. of that place, owned it at the latter end of the reign of Richard II. and in this name it continued till the reign of Henry VIII. when by the attainder of Sir Nicholas Carew, by act of parliament in the 31st year of that reign, it came into the hands of the crown, whence it was granted, with other lands in this parish, immediately afterwards, to Thomas, lord Cromwell, earl of Essex, on whose attainder next year, anno 32 king Henry VIII. it came again to the crown, and was again granted, the year after, to Sir Thomas Wyatt, to hold in capite by knight's service, who that same year, with the king's licence, alienated it to Walter Hendley, esq. and his heirs. He was afterwards knighted, and made king's sergeant-at-law, and dying in the 6th year of king Edward VI. without male issue, his three daughters became his coheirs, and this manor, by the marriage of Helen, the second daughter, with Thomas Colepeper, esq. of Bedgebury, became his property, whose lands were disgavelled by the act of the 2d and 3d year of Edward VI. His grandson Sir Anthony Colepeper, of Bedgebury, included this manor in a settlement which he made of it in 1613; and it was sold, under the limitation of that settlement, by one of his descendants, in 1714, to James Monypenny, esq. descended from an antient family of this name at Pitmilly, in Scotland, who bore for their arms, Vert, a dolphin erect, or. He in 1721 began the foundation of a seat here, within this manor and within the borough of Maytham, though not on the demesne lands of it, which he named MAYTHAM-HALL, which his eldest son Robert Monypenny, esq. finished in 1760, and resided here till his death in 1772. He died unmarried, and was succeeded in both manor and seat by his only surviving brother James Monypenny, esq. the present possessor of them, who now resides here. There is no house on this manor, nor any court held for it.

LOWDEN MANOR, formerly called also Little Maytham, as being situated within the borough of that name, was in the reign of Edward I. held by Elwisa de Maytham, as half a knight's fee. In the 20th year of Edward III. it was in the possession of the family of Aucher, for Henry Aucher then paid aid for it as holding it by knight's service, as did his grandson Henry Aucher, esq. of Losenham, in the 4th year of king Henry IV. at the marriage of Blanch, the king's sister, (fn. 2) and his grandson, of the same name, leaving an only daughter and heir Anne, she, in the reign of king Henry VII. carried this manor in marriage to Walter Colepeper, esq. of Bedgebury, whose grandson John Colepeper, esq. of Salehurst, in Sussex, alienated it in 1565 to John Wildgose, gent. of that place, and his descendant Robert Wildigos, esq. sold it in 1637 to Mary Barker, widow, who gave it by will to Samuel Sandys, of Ombersley, in Worcestershire, and he in 1663 conveyed it to George Kadwell, esq. of Gatehouse, in Rolvenden, whose descendants Felix, John, and George Kadwell, the sons under age of Thomas Kadwell, esq. becoming possessed of this manor of Lowden, and other lands, of the nature of gavelkind, lying in Rolvenden, Benenden, and Sandhurst. They by their guardians prayed a writ of partition, which was executed by the sheriff, and this manor of Lowden, with its appurtenances, was allotted to the eldest of them. (fn. 3) Felix Kadwell, esq. of this parish, dying in 1748, without male issue, by will gave this manor, wich the farm and lands called Lowden, in tail male, to his grandson Jeremiah Curteis, eldest son of Samuel Curteis, gent. by Mary his wife, his eldest daughter and coheir, (who died in her father's life-time) leaving three sons, Jeremiah, before-mentioned; Samuel, and Felix Kadwell Curteis; and one daughter Sarah). Jeremiah Curteis before-mentioned, was of Rye, gent. and died s. p. upon which it came to his next brother Mr. Samuel Curteis, gent. now of Tenterden, who is the present possessor of it.

There is no house now remaining on this manor; but the scite of the antient mansion, and the moat round it, are still visible. A court baron is held for it.

FRENSHAM, as it is now usually called, through its more proper name is Fresingham, or Fersingham, as it was sometimes written, was antiently accounted a manor, though it has long since lost all pretensions to one. It had been, in the 20th year of Henry III. as appears by the Testa de Nevil, in the possession of a family of the same name. John de Fresingham, or Fersingham, which name was afterwards contracted to that of Frencham, held it then, and paid aid for it, as holding it by knight's service, at the marriage of Isabel, that prince's sister; and in his descendants it continued till the latter end of the reign of Edward III. when it went by sale to Northwood, though there was a family of the name of Frencham remaining here so late as queen Elizabeth's reign, as appears by their wills in the Prerogative-office, Canterbury. In the name of Northwood it remained till that of king Edward IV. and then, as appeared by the old rolls of this manor, it was conveyed to Sir John Guldeford, of Halden, whose son Sir Richard Guldeford settled it on his second son Geo. Guldeford, esq. of Hemsted, whose son Sir John Guldeford alienated it to Mr. John Fowle, of Sandhurst, who gave it to his second son Alexander Fowle, and he sold it to Sir Edward Hales, knight and baronet, who died possessed of it in 1654, and was succeeded by his grandson Sir Edward Hales, bart. (fn. 4) from one of whose descendants it passed by sale to Mr. Gilbert, afterwards chief baron of the exchequer, who bequeathed it by will to Phillips Gybbon, esq. of Hole, since which it has passed, in like manner as that seat, to John Beardsworth, esq. the present possessor of it. This manor is held of the manor of Swanscombe, by castle-guard rent to the castle of Rochester, and is called, in the rolls of that manor, Fraxingham.

FRENSHAM, alias THE GATEHOUSE, is a seat here, situated on Lain-green, which seems to have been once the antient mansion and scite of the above-mentioned manor, from which it has been alienated many years since. It was once the property of the family of Pointz. Sir John Pointz owned it in 1610. His son Sir Robert Pointz, of Iron Acton, in Gloucestershire, K. B. sold it in 1640 to George Kadwell, esq. who had resided here as tenant to it, as had his father Thomas Kadwell, who died in 1631. This family was originally spelt Caldwell, and afterwards Cadwell; one of them, John Caldwell, was of this parish in the reign of Henry VIII. and was a great occupier of lands in this parish and Benenden, as appears by the inrolments in the Augmentation-office; they bore for their arms, Azure, a cross formee, fitchee, between eight estroiles, or. George Kadwell, esq. before-mentioned, who purchased this seat, dying in 1660, left a son Thomas Kadwell, who succeeded him in it, and afterwards rebuilt the mansion of it, where he kept his shrievalty for this county in 1677. He died in 1880, leaving three sons, of whom Felix Kadwell, esq. the eldest, succeeded him here, and died in 1748, having had a numerous issue, of whom only two daughters survived, who became his coheirs; of whom Elizabeth, the eldest, married Josias Pattenson, gent. of Biddenden, and Mary married Samuel Curteis, gent. of Tenterden. Josias Pattenson left several children, of whom Kadwell Pattenson, esq. the eldest, succeeded to this seat on his grandfather's death, and died s. p. in 1750, leaving his widow surviving; since married to the Rev. Mr. Williams, but this seat, with several other estates in this parish, devolved to his brother Mr Josias Pattenson, of Brook-place, in Ashford, who is at present entitled to it.

Since the Kadwells resided here, more than a third part of the house has been pulled down, and yet there is a large house remaining.

FORSHAM, alias Nether Forsham, lies in the southern part of this parish, and was once accounted a manor. It had formerly owners of the same name; for Osbert de Forshamme possessed it in the 18th year of king Edward I. Sir John de Forsham held it, as appears by old dateless deeds, in very early times. His successor Stephen de Forsham, in the 11th year of king Edward III. found a man-at-arms for guard of the sea coast; the arms they bore, appears by a deed in the Surrenden library, the seal appendant to which has three crosses, fusilly, the legend, S. STEPHANI DE FORSHAM. After this name was extinct here, the Northwoods succeeded to it, and then the Guldefords, from one of whom, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, it was sold to Dyke, of Sussex; from whose descendants, by their trustees, it was alienated, at the latter end of king Charles I.'s reign, to Mr. Thomas Bromfield, merchant, of London; from which name it afterwards passed to the Moyses, in which it continued till Mary, only daughter and heir of William Moyse, gent. of Berenden, carried it in marriage to Moyle Breton, esq. of Elmes, near Dover, who died possessed of it in 1735, and his grandson the Rev. Moyle Breton, of Kennington, alienated it a few years since to James Monypenny, esq. of Maytham hail, in this parish, who is the present possessor of it.

On this manor there were within memory, the ruins of an antient stone structure, supposed by some to have been the remains of a sort of some strength, and by others to have been only a chapel, for the use of the antient possessors of the mansion of it.


JOHN GYBBON, ESQ. late of Charter-house yard, in Middlesex, by will in 1707, gave to the inhabitants of Rolvenden, three Exchequer annuities, amounting in all to 42l. per annum, in trust, for the churchwardens and overseers for the time being, to expend in the schooling and education of boys and girls of such of the poor inhabitants of this parish, as receive alms, or are excused from paying the parish rates, and to apply the remainder, if any, in apprenticing so many of the poor boys and girls as it would amount to. He further bequeathed two other Exchequer annuities, amounting together to 170l. per annum, to the said inhabitants in trust, for the churchwardens and overseers for the time being, to expend partly in the purchase of wool, flax, and hemp, for setting the poor to work on the linen or woollen manufacture, and paying them for the same; and partly for cloathing boys and girls of the said poor above the age of seven years, and poor men and women of the age of fifty years and upwards. These annities, by a decree in chancery, in 1763, were converted by sale and transfer into three per cent. consolidated Bank Stock, viz. the former into 921l. 4s. and the latter into 3778l. 15s. now of the annual produce of 113l. 7s. 3d. and of 27l. 12s. 9d.

ALEXANDER WELIER, gent. in 1723, conveyed by deed of gift, a certain field called Well field, to the vicar and churchwardens of Rolvenden, and their successors for ever, in trust, that the rent of it should be applied in the first place to the cleansing, repairing, preserving, restoring, and upon occasion rebuilding the tombstones erected by him in the church yard here; and the remainder, if any, to be distributed yearly on Christmas-day, among the poor of this parish, not receiving alms.

EDMUND GYBBON, gent. in 1677, gave an annual rent charge of 50s. per annum, issuing out of certain lands in Rolvynden, now in the possession of John Elphen, and payable yearly on the feast of St. Andrew, to be distributed by the minister and churchwardens amongst the poor of this parish, not receiving alms.

LAURENCE PETERS, in 1777, gave by will 100l. to this parish, the interest of it to be said out, in the first place, to maintain the rails about his grave; and if no such repairs were necessary, then to be distributed one moiety at Christmas, and the other on Good Friday, in good bakers bread and good cheese, to the poor, vested in the vicar and churchwardens, and of the annual produce of 4l.

A PIECE OF LAND, called the Well-field, containing five acres, now of the annual produce of 5l. for the use and benefit of the poor, is vested in the minister and churchwardens.

The poor relieved annually are about fifty; casually twenty.

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

The Church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is large and handsome, having three isles and three chancels, and a tower steeple with a beacon turret at the west end. In the east window there are remains of good painted glass. Kilburne, p. 131, says, that in the first of the five windows in the great chancel, was the effigies of Carew, esq. in the second, that of Sir John Guldeford; what was in the third was quite defaced; in the fourth was the effigies of Henry Aucher and Elizabeth his wife; and in the fifth that of More; all of them considerable owners of lands in this parish. The font is of an octagon form, on which are these coats of arms: first, a bordure; second, a bend engrailed; third, a saltier, between four martlets; the fourth is hidden by the pews. By a brass plate against the south wall of the south chapel of this church, it appears that it was founded by Edward Guldeford, esq. on the day of St. Tiburtius and Valerianus, martyrs, April '4, anno 1444. In this church lie buried several of the Gybbons's, of Hole, and the Monypenny's. Clement Frencham was buried, as appears by his will, anno 1533, in Skott's chancel. In the church-yard are several tombstones of the Kadwells, and one near them for Kadwell Pattenson, anno 1750.

The rectory of this church was antiently part of the possessions of the eminent family of Cobham, with which it remained till at length it was given, about the beginning of king Richard II.'s reign, being then valued at sixty marcs, by John, lord Cobham, as an addition to the revenues of the college, founded by him at Cobham; which gift was confirmed by pope Urban VI. in his 10th year; and he at the same time confirmed the appropriation of this church to the use of the college, on the death or the cession of the rector of it, reserving, nevertheless, out of the rents and profits of it, a competent portion for a perpetual vicar to serve in it, by which he might be fitly maintained, pay his episcopal rights, and support the other burthens incumbent on it. In which state this appropriation, with the patronage of the vicarage, remained till the reign of Henry VIII. when the master and brethren of the college of Cobham soreseeing their approaching dissolution, in the 30th year of it, with the king's consent, sold the scite with all the lands and possessions belonging to it, to George, lord Cobham, and they were, by an especial clause in the act, anno 31 Henry VIII. excepted out of it to the lord Cobham and his heirs. Notwithstanding which, it appears that this church, with the patronage of the vicarage, came into the king's hands, who by his dotation charter, (fn. 5) in the 33d year of his reign, settled them both on his new-erected dean and chapter of Rochester, where they continue at this time.

By the survey taken in 1649, after the dissolution of the dean and chapter, this parsonage appears to have consisted of a barn, house, &c. and sixty-eight acres and two roods of land, at the improved rent of 120l. per annum, let by the late dean and chapter, anno 14 Charles I. to Edmund Hamond, esq. for twenty-one years, at 7l. 12s. The present tenants of the parsonage are Mr. Thomas and James Goble.

The vicarage is a discharged living in the king's books, of the clear yearly value of forty-four pounds, the yearly tenths of which are 1l. 11s. 4d. In 1578 here were communicants three hundred and sixty. In 1640 it was valued at sixty pounds. Communicants four hundred and thirty three.

There is an augmentation of ten pounds per annum paid to this vicarage by the dean and chapter of Rochester. There are about seven acres and an half of glebe land belonging to it.

Church of Rolvenden.

Or by whom presented.
Dean and Chapter of Rochester William Reede, A. B. June 9, 1591, obt. 1617.
Samuel Cooper, A. M. Oct. 9, 1617, resigned 1618.
Thomas Higginson, June 4, 1618.
Richard Gyles, ejected August, 1662. (fn. 6)
The King, by lapse. Thomas Fishenden, A. M. Feb. 16, 1687, obt. April 21, 1737. (fn. 7)
Davis, obt. August 1740.
Daniel Chadsley, obt. Sept. 22, 1768. (fn. 8)
Dean and Chapter of Rochester Thomas Morphett, A. M. 1769, the present vicar. (fn. 9)


  • 1. See Regist, Abb. de Begham, cart. 204, 374.
  • 2. Roll in the Exchequer, called the Roll of Blanch Lands.
  • 3. Cl. 565. Trin. term 1 Jac. 2nd.
  • 4. Philipott, p. 296. See more of the Hales's under Tunstall.
  • 5. In this charter they are said to have belonged to the late priory of Rochester.
  • 6. Calamy's Life of Baxter, p. 286.
  • 7. He lies buried in the middle isle, and was likewise rector of Newenden.
  • 8. He lies buried in this churchyard.
  • 9. He had a second induction to this vicarage, Jan. 1, 1773, on being presented to the rectory of Newenden, which he hold, with this vicarage and the chapel of Smallhith.