Parishes: Great Chart

Pages 497-514

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

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LIES adjoining to Bethersden north-eastward, It was called in the time of the Saxons, both Selebertes and Sybertes Chert, no doubt from the owners of it at that time. In Domesday it is written Certh; in other later, though antient, records, East Chart; but more usually, Great or Mochel Chart, from its extensiveness, and to distinguish it from the parish of Little Chart in this neighbourhood. There are two boroughs in it, viz. those of Bucksford and Chelmington. It is in the division of East Kent.

GREAT CHART is a very healthy situation, lying partly on the lower or southern ridge of hills, usually called the Quarry-hills, which cross this parish, having the village and church on the summit of them, and the court-lodge near them. The inhabitants have a tradition here, that Great Chart was once a far more considerable place than at present, having had a great street of houses on the east side, in the road which goes up by Singleton to the top of the hill, where there have been many houses in the memory of man. The ruins of the market-house were to be seen in the field where the fair is now kept, over against the church, which probably was but a kind of a chapel, when this town was burnt down by the Danes, and then Ashford began to rise and grow out of the ruins of it. The church is the northern boundary of the Weald, into which this pairsh extends about two miles southward, and about half a mile northward, on the other side of the hill, it is from east to west about one mile. It has no coppice wood in it, three or four small shaves excepted. The high road from Tenterden through Bethersden to Ashford, goes through this parish and the village of Great Chart, north-eastward. This parish is watered by the separate heads of the river Medway and the Stour, which direct their course directly contrary ways through it; the former, rising near Goldwell, directing its course westward along the southern bounds of it; and the latter flowing on the other side of the hills, along the northern part of it eastward, towards Ashford, and turning in its course through this parish two corn-mills, at Wurting and Buksford. The soil is in general a stiff clay. Upon the hill there is, as in other parts of it, much of the quarry-stone. The face of it, in the Weald, is much the same as described before, in Halden, Bethersden, and other places adjoining to it. From the foot of the hill northward towards Godinton, it is mostly a fertile pasture and good fatting land. The mansion of Godinton has had great improvements made to it by Mr. Toke, of Canterbury, whilst he resided here. The front, which is towards the north, is modern; the eastern one is antient. In the hall there is a series of fine family portraits, several of which are by Cornelius Johnson, and others equally good. The staircase is of very antient carvework; in the windows of which are collected all the arms, quarterings, and matches, in painted glass, of the family, formerly dispersed throughout the house; they are numerous, very perfect, and well preserved. The drawing room up-stairs is curiously wainscotted with oak, and carved; particularly along the upper part of it, all round the room, is a representation of the exercise and manœuvres of the antient militia, with the men habited and accoutred with their arms, in every attitude of marching, exercise, &c. which makes a very droll exhibition of them. There are several handsome chimney-pieces throughout the house, of Bethersden marble, well carved and ornamented with the arms of the family. Driver laid out the gardens and shrubberies, which were planted about 1770. The trees are now of a surprising size for their time, and well shew the fertility, as well as depth of the soil, especially from the oaks growing faster and more luxuriant than the ash or chesnut planted close by them. There was a vineyard at Godinton in Captain Nicholas Toke's time, from which was made wine of an extraordinary fine fort and flavour; instances of this have been already mentioned in this history, at more places than one in it, as the reader may see by referring to the former volumes of this history. (fn. 1) The parish does not extend more than one hundred rods from Godinton, before it is joined by that of Ashford. The fair is held here, by alteration of the stile, on April 5, being a great one for stock, both bullocks and sheep. It ought not to be forgotten in regard to the healthiness. of this place, that the ages of Captain Nicholas Toke, who died in 1680, æt. 93, and of his four predecessors, successive owners of Godinton, made up 430 years; and those of four of the family of Engeham, of Singleton, in this parish, each the others heir there, made up 329 years.

In the night of May 1, 1580, there happened a great earthquake in this parish, which frightened the inhabitants so much, that they rose from their beds.

IN THE YEAR 799 king Cenewlf, at the request of archbishop Athelard, restored to Christ-church, in Canterbury, the lands which king Offa, his almost immediate predecessor, had taken from archbishop Janibert, among which was this manor, then called Selebertes Ceart; and he gave it, with the consent of his bishops and nobles, free from all secular and regal tribute, ad vestimentum monichorum, i. e. towards the cloathing of the monks there. In which state this manor remained at the taking of Domesday, in which it is thus entered under the general title of the archbishop's lands, as all the possessions of this church were, as follows:

In Cert hundred, the archbishop himself holds Certh. It was taxed at three sulings. The arable land is twelve carucates. In demesne there are two, and thirty six villeins, with eleven cottagers, having twenty-two carucates and an half. There are five servants, and two mills of six shillings, and a salt pit of six-pence, and twenty seven acres of pasture, and wood for the pannage of one hundred bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and when he received it, it was worth twelve pounds, now twenty pounds, and yet it pays twenty seven pounds.

In the 10th year of king Edward II. the prior of Christ-church obtained a grant of free warren in all his demesne lands in this manor of Great Chart, among others which he or his predecessors had acquired since the time of the king's grandfather, so that the same were not within the bounds of his forest. King Henry VI. in his 25th year, granted to the prior a market weekly, and a fair yearly on Lady-day. (fn. 2) It continued afterwards part of the possessions of the priory of Christ-church till its dissolution, in the 31st year of Henry VIII. when it was surrendered into the king's hands, with whom this manor did not continue long; for the king settled it, among other premises, in his 33d year, on his new-founded dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose inheritance it still continues. The company of baberdashers in London, are the present lessees of the demesnes of this manor; but the manerial rights, with the court leet and court baron belonging to it, the dean and chapter reserve in their own hands.

CHELMINGRTON is a manor in the southern part of this parish, within the boundary of the Weald, next to Kingsnoth, in the borough of its own name, being written in antient records both Chelmanton and Chilmandon. It was once the property of a family who took their name from it, and had a mansion here, at which they continued resident for many generations, bearing for their arms, Argent, three chevrons, azure, nine cross-croslets, sable. At length it devolved to John Chelmington, whose figure, habited in armour, was formerly in a window of the north chancel of this church. He died in king Henry V.'s reign, leaving Elizabeth his daughter and sole heir, who entitled her husband Roger Twysden, gent. to the possession of it. He afterwards resided at Chelmington, as did his descendants, till William Twysden, esq. of Chelmington, whose lands were disgavelled by the act of the 2d and 3d Edward VI. in which he is spelt William Twisenden, having, married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Roydon, esq. of Roydon-hall, in East Peckham, removed thither, (fn. 3) where his posterity have continued ever since. Sir Thomas Twysden, bart. about the reign of queen Anne, alienated it to Mr. Thomas Hooker, whose son Thomas Hooker, esq. of Great Chart, died possessed of it in 1765, and lies buried in the south chancel of this church, whose arms were, A cross, between four escallops. His daughter Elizabeth married Walter Bartelot, esq. of Stopham, in that county, who bore for his arms, Sable, three falconers sinister gloves pendant, argent, and tasselled, or; granted to his ancestor Walter Bartlett, esq. of Stopham, in 1616; by her he had three sons, Walter, who took the name of Smith, and was of that place, esq. George Smith, and Hooker. By his will he gave this estate to his second grandson George Smith Bartelot, who died unmarried; on which it came, by the entail of the same will, to the youngest brother Hooker Bartelot, esq. the present owner of it.

The borsholder for the borough of Chelmington used to be chosen at the manor court; but this has been sometime disused, and he is chosen at the court of Chart manor.

SHINGELTON, corruptly so called for Singleton, its original name, is an estate here, lying likewise near the southern boundary of this parish, about a mile northwestward from Chelmington. It was in former times of some note, having had owners of that surname, who bore for their antient arms, as appears by their deeds, Two chevrons, between three martlets. Henry de Singleton was one of the persons of note, whose figures, in armour, were formerly in the window of the north chancel of this church. His successor John Singleton was a justice of the peace in the reigns of king Richard II. and Henry IV. as appears by an old roll of the justices of those times, collected by Thinne and John Syngleton, is among the list of those gentlemen of this county, taken anno 12 Henry VI. who were entitled to bear the antient coat armour of their ancestors. (fn. 4) He passed this estate away to Engeham, or Edingham, as they were antiently written, who added much to the building of this mansion, which continued in this name till the beginning of king James I.'s reign, when Sir Edward Engham conveyed it to Richard Brown, esq. descended of a younger branch of the Browns, of Beechworth-castle, from whom it descended to his grandchild of the same name, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Andrews, of Buckinghamshire, and dying soon after the death of king Charles I. She afterwards became entitled to this seat as part of her dower, and on her death was succeeded in it, as well as in other considerable property in this parish and in Kingsnoth, by Thomas, lord Leigh, baron of Stoneleigh, in Warwickshire, who had married Elizabeth their only daughter and heir; and he alienated it to Andrews; from which name it passed, at the latter end of the last century, with Wurthin mill, in this parish, to the company of haberdashers of London, as trustees for the support of the hospital at Hoxton, commonly called Aske's hospital, in whom it is at this time vested.

GOLDWELL is a manor of great antiquity here, lying on the Quarry-hills, about a mile westward from Chart church, being described in Domesday by the name of God Selle, at which time it was part of the possessions of the bishop of Baieux, under the description of whose lands it is thus entered in it.

The same Hugo, (grandson of Herbert) holds of the bishop Godeselle. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is two carucates, in demesne there is one, and five villeins having one carucate and an half. There is a church, and two servants, and two acres of meadow, and wood for the pannage of ten hogs. In the time of king Edward III. and afterwards, and now, it was and is worth four pounds. Edwin held it of the king, and could go with his land wherever he would.

This manor, afterwards known by the name of Goldwell, became the property and mansion of a family who assumed their name from it, who bore for their arms, Azure, a chief or, over all a lion rampant, argent, bezantee, sable. Sir John Goldwell was a commander of considerable note in the reign of king John, and resided at Goldwell; from whom it descended down to John Goldwell, who lived in the reign of Edward III. He left two sons, John, who succeeded him here; and Thomas, who purchased the seat of Godington in this parish, as will be further taken notice of hereafter. In the descendants of John Goldwell above-mentioned, two of whom were learned bishops, viz. James Goldwell, made bishop of Norwich in 1472, who was principal secretary to Edward IV. and Thomas Goldwell, made bishop of St. Asaph in 1555; (fn. 5) this manor continued down to John Gold well, esq. who in king James I.'s reign, alienated it to Sir William Wythins, of Eltham, who again parted with it to Sir John Tuston, knight and baronet, of Hothfield, whose eldest son Nicholas was created lord Tuston and earl of Thanet; and in his descendants, earls of Thanet, this estate, which has long since lost the name of a manor, and is now known by the names of Great and Little Goldwell farms, has continued down to the present Right Hon. Sackville, earl of Thanet, the present possessor of it.

NINNEHOUSE is a manor, situated on the northern side of the quarry-hill, not far from the river Stour, which was antiently the residence of John at Nin, whose figure, in armour, was with those of other eminent men formerly in the north window of the north chancel of this church; in whose descendants it continued till the reign of Henry VI. when it was alienated to Sharpe; one of whom, William Sharpe, of this place, died possessed of it in 1499, and lies buried in the middle isle of this church, with his five wives, as does his descendant William Sharpe the elder, who died in 1583. At length, after it had continued in this name and family for many generations, it was conveyed by sale by William Sharpe, gent. at the beginning of the present century, to Mr. Thomas Curteis, who sold it to the Rev. Mr. Hilkiah Bedford, (fn. 6) the famous, and learned nonjuring writer, descended of a family seated at Sibsey, near Boston, in Lincolnshire. He was deprived of his preferments in 1689, for nonconformity, and in 1714 was tried and received sentence, for printing and publishing the hereditary Right of the Crown asserted; of which, however, he is said not to be the real author. He left three sons, of whom William was physician to Christ's hospital, and register of the college of physicians; Thomas, was of Ashburn, in Derbyshire, and John was M.D. of Durham. He died possessed of it, and was succeeded by his eldest son William Bedford, M. D. who died in 1747, and his only daughter and heir Elizabeth marrying with Mr. John Claxton, of Shirley, near Croydon, in Surry, has entitled him to the possession of this estate.

COURT-WURTIN, now usually called Worting farm, lies further westward, at a small distance southward from the river Stour. It was formerly accounted a manor, and was the residence of owners of that surname; one of whom, William de Wurtin, by his deed without date, demised land which lay within his manor of Wurtin to Quickemannus de Bere. The figure of Henry de Wurtin, in armour, was with those of other eminent persons formerly in the window of the north chancel of this church. The last of this name here was Thomas de Wurtin, who about the beginning of king Henry IV.'s reign, passed it away to Thomas Goldwell, of Godinton, in this parish, whose son William Goldwell died in 1485; by the marriage of whose heir-general, this manor at length, with his seat of Godinton, came to Thomas Toke, esq. of Bere, who settled it on his third son John Toke, esq. afterwards of Godinton, in whose descendants it has continued down, with that seat, to Nicholas Roundell Toke, esq. now of Godinton, the present possessor of it.

GODINGTON is an antient mansion, in the southwest part of this parish, on the other or northern side of the river, next to Hothfield, which was once the residence of a family of the same name. Simon de Godington, who was likewise possessed of lands in Stroud, Frindsbury, and Chelsfield, in this county, which were named after him, lived here, as appeared by very antient deeds. John de Godington's figure, in armour, and looking up to a crucifix placed above him, was with those of several other eminent persons of note in these parts, formerly in the window of the north chancel of this church. William de Godington, his son, lived here, as appeared by his deed in the 4th year of Richard II. but before the end of that reign, he had passed away his interest in it to Richard, Simon, and John Champneys; and they, in the 6th year of Henry IV. joined in the sale of it to Thomas, younger son of John Goldwell, of Goldwell before-mentioned, who died anno 5 Henry V. His son William Goldwell, was of Godinton, where he died in the 1st year of Henry VII. leaving a son Thomas and a daughter Joane, married to Thomas Toke, of Westbere. Thomas Goldwell, the son, inherited this seat, and left an only daughter Avice his heir, who became the wise of Robert a Rowe; but she died s. p. on which Joane, above-mentioned, entitled her husband Thomas Toke, as heir-general, to this seat of Godington, with other estates in this parish and elsewhere.

The family of Toke, Tooke, or Tucke, as they have at different times been variously spelt, are supposed to be descended from Le Sire de Touque, called in some copies Toc, and in others Touke, mentioned in the Battel abbey roll, having among others, attended William the Conqueror in his expedition hither, and being present on his behalf in the memorable battle of Hastings. His descendant Robert de Toke, who is the first mentioned in the pedigrees of this family, bore for his arms, Parted per chevron, sable, and argent, three griffins heads, erased and counter changed. He was present with king Henry III. in 1264, at the battle of Northampton. His great-grandson is called Toke, de Toke & Westcliffe, from whom descended in the fifth generation John Toke, of Bere, who lived in the reigns of Henry V. and VI. and had three sons; of whom Thomas, the eldest, was of Bere; Ralph, the second, was ancestor of those of Cambridgeshire, Dorsetshire, and Hertfordshire; and John, the third, died without male issue. Thomas Toke, of Bere, the eldest son, is mentioned before, as having married Joane, daughter of William Goldwell, esq. of Godinton, whose heir general she at length was; he married secondly Cecilia, daughter of Sir Robert Chicheley, niece to the archbishop, by whom he had no issue. By his first wife he had three sons, Ralph, who succeeded to the family estate at Bere, where his posterity remained till the latter end of the last century, as will be mentioned under the description of that place; Richard, who died s. p. and John, the youngest, who had Godinton by his father's will, where he afterwards resided, and had an augmentation of honor granted to his arms by king Henry VII. as a reward for his expedition in a message on which he was employed to the French king, being an additional coat of arms, viz. Argent, on a chevron, between three greybounds heads erased sable, collored, or, three plates; which coat the Tokes of Godinton have ever since borne, in the first quarter of their arms, placing the original arms of Toke in the second place; in whose descendants, resident here, most of whom lie buried in this church, this seat continued down to Nicholas Toke, esq. of Godington, usually called Captain Toke, sheriff in 1663, who dying in 1680, was buried in the chancel of this church, with his five wives. His portrait at full length is in the hall here, and that of Diana his fifth wife, daughter of the earl of Winchelsea. There is an anecdote of him in the family, that at the age of ninety-three, being left a widower, he walked from hence to London, to pay his addresses to a sixth wife; but being taken ill, he presently died. His portrait well expresses the strength of his frame and constitution. Leaving no male issue by either of his wives, he devised this seat of Godington, with the rest of his estate, to his nephew and heir at-law, Nicholas Toke, of Wye, son of his next brother Henry Toke, M. D. of Osham. Which Nicholas kept his shrievalty at Godington in 1693, and was, the year afterwards, knighted. He left by his second wife, Katherine, daughter of Sir Tho. Dyke, of Sussex, two sons, John and Thomas; and five daughters; Catherine, married to William, son of John Henden, of Biddenden; Elizabeth, to Edward, son of Charles Paine, of East Grinsted; Margaret to John Handfield; Sarah, first to Thomas Nower, and secondly to Matthew Rutton; and Bridget to Thomas, son of Tho. Brett, LL. D. of Spring-grove. After which this seat descended down to his eldest greatgrandson John; (Nicholas, the youngest, clerk, is rector of Barnstone, in Essex), which John Toke, esq. was of Godinton, where he kept his shrievalty in 1770, having married Margaret, daughter of Dr. Roundell, by whom he had three sons, NicholasRoundell, John, and William; and two daughters. After his wife's death he removed to Canterbury, where he now resides, leaving the possession of this seat with the rest of his estates in this parish and Hothfield, to his eldest son Nicholas Roundell Toke, esq. who now resides in it. (fn. 7)

BUCKSFORD, alias NORTH STOWER, lies about a quarter of a mile northward of the river Stour, on the high road to Ashford. It was formerly accounted a manor, and at the latter end of king Henry VIII.'s reign was the property of Baker. It was afterwards possessed by the Clarks, of Woodchurch; one of whom, Humphry Clarke, esq. resided for some time here. After which it passed to Richard Toke, the youngest son of John Toke, of Godinton, by Cicely Kempe his wife, who likewise resided here; and thence again to Fleete; at length William Fleet sold it to Henry Crispe, esq. of Quekes, in Thanet, who by will in 1663 devised it to his nephew Thomas, son of his brother Thomas Crispe, of Goudhurst, who conveyed it by sale to Andrews; and Alexander Andrews, in the year 1690, sold it, together with the manor of Shingleton before mentioned, and his other estates in this parish, to the company of haberdashers, in London, as trustees for the support of the hospital commonly called Aske's hospital, at Hoxton, in whom it is now vested.


JOHN TOKE, ESQ. of Godinton, by will in 1560, gave to the poor an annuity of 21s. to be yearly received out of a house, with its appurtenances, and one piece of land, in Chart-street.

ROBERT MORECOCK, one of the gentlemen of queen Elizabeth's chapel, by will in 1581, gave to the poor one piece of land, called Morecock's garden, Cockridge, or Upton, containing half an acre, in this parish, now of the annual value of 12s.

FRANCIS TOKE, ESQ. of Great Chart, by will in 1583, gave towards the maintenance and support of two poor inhabitants, upon certain conditions therein mentioned, three houses, with their appurtenances, and eleven acres of land belonging to them in this parish, the annual produce of which is 11l. 2s. 6d.

THOMAS KIPPS, gent. of Canterbury, by will in 1680, gave to the poor one annuity of 20s. out of two houses and certain lands called Chillmarsh, in this parish.

The poor constantly relieved are about thirty, carefully eighty.


ONE ANNUITY of 30s. out of all the lands and tenements, formerly of Richard Toke, gent. of this parish, in Kennington and Boughton Aluph, given by indenture in 1576.

TWO PIECES OF LAND, called Crouchfield and Bournefield, containing seven acres, in the denne of Brickenden, in Biddenden, as was found by inquisition taken in 1562, to be given by the will of John Goldwell, gent. anno 13 Henry VII.

THE MANOR OF HAMMONDECOT, alias HENDECOT, and one piece of land called Lords grove, in Woodchurch, and the several quit-rents belonging to it, were given by William Clark, of Woodchurch, by indenture, anno 22 Henry VII.

THERE IS a school here, supported by the voluntary subscription of Mr. Toke, the rector, and some others, for reading English and writing.

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

The church, which is dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary, is a large handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels, having a well-built tower steeple at the west end, in which are five bells. The north and south isles are leaded, the middle isle and chancel tiled. The north chancel is divided lengthways, as to its property; the north side belonging to the haberdashers company, and the south side to the Tokes, of Godinton. Between the middle and this north chancel is an altar-tomb, the brasses on which, as well as the inscription, are lost. It was for William de Goldwelle, and Avice his wife, they both died in 1485. Between every word was the figure of a well. Against the north wall is an antient tomb, one side of which is nearly covered by the valut which is raised against it, for the Toke family, built by Sir Nicholas Toke in 1701. On the payment are several gravestones for the family of Toke, most of which are enriched with their figures and shields of arms in brass. In the windows are several coats of arms, among which are those of the see of Norwich and of Goldwell, and several figures of saints. In the lower north window were formerly, according to Weever, sixteen (Philipott says only twelve) figures of men, all kneeling, ten of which remained in his time; three of the others are supplied by Philipott, being Johannes de Godinton, Henry de Wurtin, and Henricus de Singleton, owners of lands in this parish, as has been noticed before, in the midst of whom were two priests. The current tradition, time out of mind, has been, that these were principal persons here, owners of lands and builders of this church. The south chancel is likewise divided, as to its property, lengthways; the north part belonging to Bartelot, and the sourth to the earl of Thaner, whose grandfather refused to repair his part of it, which his ancestors had done time out of mind. In the south part lies buried Thomas Hooker, esq. and Mary his wife, mentioned before. Weever says, the portrait of bishop Goldwell was in the east window, kneeling, and in every quarry a golden well, and these words, Jacobo Goldwelle Episcopo Norwicen. . qui . . . opus fundavit ann Xti MCCCCLXXVII; by which it appears he was the founder of it; fragments of this still remain, most of which have been transposed from their proper places, and added to parts not belonging to them. At the end of the south isle, a stone with the figures in brass, for Thomas Twesden and Benet his wife. In the middle isle, a stone with figures in brass, for William Sharpe and his five wives. He died in 1499. In the cross isle, a memorial for William Sharpe the elder, obt. 1583. In this isle, in an upper range of windows, are several figures of men, with arms under them; one of them is those of Toke. The church has been lately handsomely pewed, at the charge of the parish, and the pews painted at the charge of John Toke, esq. In the church-yard, on the north side of the north chancel, there appear the foundations of a building once adjoining to it, which has been down for many years, and on the outside of the east wall of the same chancel, is a square stone in the wall, with an inscription for Clare Cowldwell, widow, sometime wife of John Cowldwell, bishop of Sarum, and daughter of John Toke, esq. who died s. p. in 1608. At the east end of the church-yard is a very antient tomb, for Susan, wife of Thomas Brett, and daughter of Thomas Kadwell, gent. the rest is hid under ground by the sinking of the tomb. Further is another tomb for Richard Toke, gent. son of John Toke, esq. and Cicely his wife, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Humphry Clarke, esq. He died in 1598.

James Goldwell, bishop of Norwich, born at Goldwell, in this parish, as mentioned before, who died in 1499, and was buried in his cathedral at Norwich, was a great benefactor to this church, and a principal repairer of it. He founded a chantry in the south chancel of it, at the altar of the Blessed Trinity; which chantry was dissolved by the act of the 1st year of king Edward VI. This chantry, usually called Goldwell's chantry, in a trial had, on a writ of prerogative, anno 10 Elizabeth, is said to have been founded by Nicholas Goldwell, clerk. (fn. 8)

CLEMENT FRENSJHAM, of this parish, by will in 1544, bequeathed an obit of 6s. 8d. upon Relic Monday in this church, for divine mass by note, and other divine service; and what was spared to be given to the poor, for ever. For which he bound all his lands in Kent, and among others, a house and fifteen acres of land, called Bets, with a garden, in Great Chart; and he appointed the curate of this parish, and his successors, overseers of his will.

The advowson of the rectory of Great Chart was ever esteemed as an appendage to the manor, and as such was part of the possessions of the priory of Christ church, in Canterbury, with which it remained till the dissolution of the priory in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. after which it was granted by the king, in his 32d year, by the description of, the advowson of Moche Chart, in exchange for other premises, to Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Alyngton, to hold in capite by knight's service; but his son, of the same name, being attainted in the 1st year of queen Mary, this advowson, among the rest of his estates, became forfeited to the crown, where it seems to have remained till queen Elizabeth, in exchange for other premises taken from the archbishopric, granted it to the archbishop of Canterbury, with whom it has continued ever since, his grace the archbishop being the present patron of it.

This rectory is valued in the king's books at 25l. 6s. 0½d. and the yearly tenths at 2l. 10s. 7¼d. In 1640 it was valued at one hundred pounds, communicants three hundred. It is now worth two hundred pounds per annum.

The parsonage is situated some way down the hill southward, on the west side, about a quarter of a mile from the church. There are twelve acres of glebeland.

Church of Great Chart.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. Nicholas Simpson, A. M. Jan. 7, 1595, obt. 1609. (fn. 9)
Adrian Saravia, S. T. P. March 23, 1609, obt. 1612. (fn. 10)
John Abbot, S. T. P. Feb. 5, 1612, obt. 1615.
William Kingsley, S. T. P. resigned 1616. (fn. 11)
Thomas Jackson, S. T. P. Feb. 7, 1616, resigned 1629. (fn. 12)
Thomas Westley, S. T. P. October 15, 1629, obt. April 1639. (fn. 13)
William Axon, LL. B. July 12, 1639.
Edward Line. ejected 1662. (fn. 14)
Thomas Tomkins, S. T. B. July 18, 1667.
Valentine Chadwick. A. M. Dec. 9, 1669, obt. 1719.
David Wilkins, S. T. P. Sept. 12, 1719, resigned 1719. (fn. 15)
John Clark, A. M. Jan. 21, 1719, obt. June 1737. (fn. 16)
William Hull, A. M. Oct. 7, 1737, obt. Oct. 1742. (fn. 17)
Walter Walker Ward, S. T. P. Nov. 3, 1742, resig. 1747. (fn. 18)
James Tunstal, S. T. P. March 6, 1747, resigned 1757. (fn. 19)
Thomas Wray, A. M. Nov. 26, 1757, resigned 1762. (fn. 20)
John Benson, A. M. 1762, resig. 1780. (fn. 21)
William Nance, LL. B. Nov. 1780, the present rector. (fn. 22)


  • 1. See a discourse of the introduction and progress of the Vine in Britain, in the Archæologia, vol. i. p. 326, vol. iii. p. 53.
  • 2. Rot. Cart. anno 25 and 26 Henry VI. No. 30.
  • 3. See an account of the family of Twysden, of East Peckham, vol. v. of this history, p. 96.
  • 4. See Fuller's Worthies of Kent, p. 87.
  • 5. See more of the former and his preferments, in Newc. Rep. vol. i. p. 71.
  • 6. See an account of him and his writings in Biog. Brit. vol. vi. p. 3732, note [B.]
  • 7. There are pedigrees of Toke in Vistn. co. Kent of 1574 and 1619, and among the Harl. MSS. No. 1195 55 and 1196 108.
  • 8. See Coke's Entries, p. 439, and vol. vi. of this history, p. 517.
  • 9. Prebendary of Canterbury, and lies buried in that cathedral.
  • 10. Ibid. His will is in the Prerog. off. Cant.
  • 11. Prebendary and afterwards archdeacon of Canterbury. He died in 1649. and was buried in that cathedral.
  • 12. Likewise prebendary of Canterbury. He resigned this rectory, and dying in 1646, was buried in that cathedral.
  • 13. And prebendary of Canterbury. He was buried in the Savoy church, London, of which he was preacher. Wood's Ath p. 253
  • 14. He was ejected by the Bartholomew act.
  • 15. Prebendary of Canterbury, and archdeacon of Suffolk. He died in 1745, at Hadleigh, in Suffolk, of which he was rector, as well as of Monks Isleigh, in that county, a publisher of several learned works.
  • 16. Prebendary of Canterbury, and dean of Sarum. He died, and lies buried in the chancel of this church.
  • 17. He had been observed to be melancholy for some time, and went on a visit to a friend's house at Romney, where sibi ipsi necem conscivit.
  • 18. He before held the rectory of Biddenden with the vicarage of Marden by dispensation, the latter of which he resigned, and held the former with this rectory by dispensation.
  • 19. And vicar of Minister, in Thanet, which, as well as this rectory, he resigned for Rochdale, in Lancashire.
  • 20. Also rector of Rucking by dispensation, which he resigned for that of Wittersham, which latter he held with this of Chart by dispensation. He resigned both these for Rochdale, as before-mentioned.
  • 21. Before vicar of Shepherdswell with Coldred; he held this rectory with that of Rucking by dispensation, and was six preacher of Canterbury cathedral; in 1762 a dispensation passed for his holding the rectory of St. Michael, Harbledown, both which he exchanged for the vicarage of Boxley with his successor, which he now holds, and is prebendary of Canterbury, and register of Gloucester.
  • 22. He holds this with Harbledown by dispensation. See the foregoing note (u).