Parishes: Shadoxhurst

Pages 238-244

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

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IS the next parish eastward. So much of it as is within the borough of Old Harlackenden, is in the hundred of Blackborne, and lower division of the lath of Scray, and western division of this county, and within the bailiwie of the Seven Hundreds. A small part on the northern side of it, consisting of only three houses, is in the hundred of Chart and Longbridge, upper division of the lath of Scray, and in the eastern division of this country; and the residue, on the southeast side of it, is in the lath of Shipway, hundred of Ham, and eastern division likewise of this county.

The court of the bailiwic of the Seven Hundreds claims paramount over the greatest part of this parish, and the manor of Tinton over some of the southern part of it.

This parish is but little frequented, being very obscurely situated in a low flat country, the whole of which is much covered with coppice woods, which makes it very dreary and unpleasant. The soil is a deep miry clay, and the roads are much the same and equally bad as those of Halden and the intermediate country. The village is situated nearly in the centre of the parish, round a green, with the church at the south east end of it. There are about twenty two house in the parish, and the rents of it are about three hundred pounds per annum.

THE MANORS OF SHADOXHURST is subordinate to the court of the bailiwic of the Seven Hundreds. It was antiently the inheritance of a family called Forstal, and sometimes written At-Forstal, who were of no mean extraction in this county; for in several antient deeds John and Richard At-Forstal are mentioned among the witnesses to them, and it is probable they were possessors of this manor, thought the private deeds belonging to it are of no longer date that the reign of Henry V. in the 3d year of which John Forstal passed this manor away by deed to Stokys, vulgarly called Stokes, in whose descendants it continued many years, until it was at length sold to Avery Randolph, who had an estate likewise about Burham, near Maidstone; (fn. 1) and from whose son Edward, about the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, it went by sale to Sir John Taylor, who, in the 25th year of queen Elizabeth, passed it away to John Taylor, esq. of Wilsborough, whose ancestors had resided at Homestal, in this parish, as early as the reign of Henry III. from whom descended those of this name of Romney, Wilshorough, Maidstone, and other places in this county, and those of Ireland likewise. They bore for their arms, Argent, on a chief, sable, two boars heads, couped of the first. (fn. 2) From John Taylor above-mentioned, this manor came down to Sir Thomas Taylor, bart. of Maidstone, so created in 1665, whose only son of the same name died under age, on which his trustees, under his will, sold it to John Cooke, esq. of Swists, in Cranbrooke, who by will devised this manor, with the rest of his estate in Shadoxhurst, to be sold for the benefit of his younger children, in pursuance of which it was sold to Sir Charles Molloy, of Greenwich, who had married Ellen his eldest daughter. He died possessed of it in 1760, s. p. and devised it by will to Charles, the second son of George Cooke, esq. of Lincolns-inn-fields, who has since, pursuant to his uncle's will, taken on him the name of Molloy, and is the present possessor of it.

CRIOLS-COURT, now usually called Crayals, is an estate in this parish, which was once the patrimony of the eminent family of Criol, and was one of the several seates of theirs in this county, which took their name from them. Bertram de Criol died possessed of it in the 23d year of king Edward I. and his son John dying in the 34th year of that reign s. p. left Joane his sister his next heir, then married to Sir Richard de Rokesle. His eldest daughter and coheir Agnes, married Thomas de Poynings, and by it entitled that family to this among the great inheritance which devolved to her in right of her mother; and in their descendants this estate continued down to Sir Edward Poynings, a man much in favour with king Henry VII. and VIII. under both of whom he enjoyed many important offices of trust and honor. Though he left several natural children, yet it being found by the inquisition taken after his death in the 14th year of the letter reign, that he died not only without legitimate issue, but without any collateral kindred, who could make claim to his estates; this, among others of them, escheated to the crown, (fn. 3) whence it was granted by Henry VIII. to Mr. William Taylor, gent. of Shadoxhurst, after whose death, anno 16 of that reign, without male issue, it came at length by entail to John Taylor, of Winchelsea, who left an only surviving daughter and heir Anne, who marrying Mr. William Whitfield, gent. of Patrixborne, entitled him to this estate of Criols-court; from whom it was, about the beginning of king Charles I.'s reign, alienated to More, and thence not many years afterwards to Thomas Taylor, esq. owner of the manor of Shadoxhurst, as before-mentioned, and afterwards in 1664, created a baronet. Since which it has descended, in the like series of ownership with that manor, to Charles Cooke Molloy, esq. the present proprietor of them.

MINCHEN-COURT, vulgarly so called, but in old records written Minikens-court, is an estate here, which was formerly part of the possessions of St. James's, af terwards called St. Jacob's hospital, in Thanington, almost adjoining to the suburbs of Canterbury, founded before the reign of king John, for leprous women, of which one Firmin, if not the founder, was at least a considerable benefactor to it, at whose request, in the beginning of that reign, this hospital, and its possessions, with the consent of archbishop Hubert, were taken under the custody and protection of the prior and convent of Christ-church, in Canterbury. (fn. 4) This hospital was not dissolved till the 5th year of king Edward VI. notwithstanding which, this estate of Minchen court had been long before that alienated from it, and in the very beginning of Henry VIII.'s reign was become vested in the crown; for that king in his 2d year granted it to Robert Tatteshall, esq. to hold of his manor of East Greenwich by fealty only; and from him immediately afterwards it came by purchase to Sir Edward Wotton, whose grandson Thomas, lord Wotton, dying in the 6th year of king Charles I. his four daughters became his coheirs; of whom Catherine, the eldest, carried this estate in marriage to Henry, lord Stanhope, son and heir of Philip, lord Chesterfield; (fn. 5) upon whose death she became again possessed of it, and quickly after transferred it by sale to Mr. Thomas Harfleet, of Canterbury. How it passed afterwards, I cannot find; but in the year 1703, by the foreclosure of a mortgage, it came into the possession of Mr. John Courthope, whose descendant Alexander Courthope, esq. of Horsemonden, dying unmarried in 1779, by will gave this among the rest of his estates in this county to his nephew John Cole, esq. of that parish, the present owner of it.

CLAYPITS is a manor situated in the eastern part of this parish, near Bromley-green, which was formerly in the possession of the family of Hall, of Kennington. Sir Wm. Hall, of that place, died possessed of it in the reign of king James I. and was succeeded in it by his eldest son Nevil Hall, esq. who owned it at the restoration of king Charles II. After which it passed by sale into the family of Twysden, of East Peckham, baronets, one of whom alienated it not many years ago to Mr. John Horne, who by will devised it to his wife Mrs. Catherine Horne, of New Romney, for life. It was afterwards, in 1787, sold to William Deedes, esq. of St. Stephen's, whose eldest son of the same name, at Hythe, is the present possessor of it, together with the adjoining manor of Bishopswood.


ROBERT FARLEY gave to the poor of this parish, by will in 1590, 10s. yearly for ever, out of a piece of land here, called Checquers.

MICHAEL POONETT, by will in 1604, gave a piece of land, called Bishopscroft, to the poor for ever, now of the annual produce of 30s.

The poor constantly relieved are about fifteen, casually ten.

SHADOXHURST is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Limne.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a very small mean building, consisting of one isle and one chancel. At the west end is a wooden building, with a small turret, in which hang three bells. The whole seems in a ruinous state.

In the north windows of the isle are some remains of good painted glass; in one of them are two figures crowned, in one copartment, and in the other a priest kneeling, offering a cup to another figure, who is fitting and crowned. In the other window is the Virgin Mary, and an angel with ave Maria. And there are some little remains of painted glass in the east window of the chancel.

Sir Charles Molloy, captain of the Royal Caroline yacht, lies buried under a tomb in this church yard; but there is a superb and elegant monument of white marble, with his bust, and the figure of a boy weeping over it, and different emblems of war round him, erected to his memory, against the north wall of the chancel. In the church, on each side of the chancel, are hung up his banners, sword, helmet with his crest, &c. He bore for his arms, Argent, a lion, rampant, between three trefoils slipt, sable. In the chancel is a memorial for John Sewell, rector, anno 1591.

This church is a rectory, and has been long part of the possessions of the crown, and remains so at this time, the king being the present patron of it.

It is now a discharged living, of the clear yearly value of thirty-eight pounds, the yearly tenths of which are 15s. 3½d. In 1578 here were communicants seventy-nine. In 1640 there were sixty, and the yearly value of it was seventy pounds.

There was an old writing, with several of the parishioners hands, by which they acknowledged eightpence in the noble due to the rector of Shadoxhurst, for all acre wood; and Sir Roger Twisden, in his treatise concerning the Weald, says, it is to be observed that the usual paying of tithe-wood in any parish, or in many, does not make it due, if it can be shewed that the parishes paying stand in the Weald. And further says, that he himself has known the rector of Shadoxhurst to claim tithe wood in some cases, and quotes the above writing in confirmation of it. But there has not been, for a long time, any tithe paid for wood in this parish.

This rectory was augmented in 1767 by the governors of queen Anne's bounty, with two hundred pounds, in consequence of an addition of the like sum from Mrs. Ursula Taylor's legacy, paid to them by Sir Philip Boteler, bart. with which sums were purchased lands in Shadoxhurst of sixteen pounds per annum.

The glebe land consists of three small woods, containing together about nine acres.

Church of Shadoxhurst.

Or by whom presented.
The Crown. William Baldwin, S. T. P. July 20, 1617, obt. 1626.
William Stone, May 20, 1626, resigned 1631.
Charles Hutchenson, A. M. Sept. 20, 1631, resigned 1631. (fn. 6)
William Langley, A. M. July 30, 1636, resigned 1639. (fn. 7)
Nicholas Gent, Feb. 15, 1639. (fn. 8)
Timothy Wilson, A. M. Aug. 18, 1676. (fn. 9)
Isaac Satur, A. B. Nov. 24, 1690, resigned 1717.
John Lamb, April 1, 1717, ob. Dec. 1733. (fn. 10)
Henry Bagnal, jun. A. M. 1734, obt. 1761. (fn. 11)
Blemell Pollard, Aug. 4, 1761, obt. 1764.
Robert Polhill, July 13, 1764, the present rector. (fn. 12)


  • 1. His will, proved in 1561, is in the Prerog. off. Cant.
  • 2. There is a pedigree of this family in the Heraldic Visitation of 1619.
  • 3. See more of the Criols, Rokesles, and Poynings, vol. ii. of this history, p. 143, 151.
  • 4. See more of this hospital and its foundation, in Battely's Somner, p. 41; pt. ii. and p. 173.
  • 5. See more of the Wottons and Stanhopes, under Boughton Malherb, vol. v. of this history, p. 400, 403.
  • 6. Rym. Fœd. vol. xix. p. 359.
  • 7. Ibid. vol. xx. p. 137.
  • 8. Ibid. p. 398.
  • 9. He was then rector of Kingsnoth.
  • 10. He lies buried in the chancel of this church, where he has a monument to his memory.
  • 11. And rector of Frittenden, by dispensation in 1737.
  • 12. And vicar of Goudhurst, by dispensation that year.