Parishes: Liddon

Pages 127-132

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1799.

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IS the next parish eastward, being spelt in antient records Leddene. Part of it lies in the hundred of Bewsborough and lath of St. Augustine, and the rest of it, in which is the church and village, in the hundied of Folkestone and lath of Shipway.

THE PARISH lies in an unpleasant dreary country, having the look of poverty throughout it, the soil of it is in general very chalky, and equally poor. The village is situated in the valley, on each side of the high road leading from Canterbury to Dover, a little way beyond the 67th mile-stone from London, having the church and court-lodge at a small distance on the north side of it. The hills rise very high and bold on every side, and toward the north are open and uninclosed. It extends towards the north but a little way; but towards the south it reaches more than a mile from the village beyond Swanton-house, a large antient stone building, towards Swingfield and Alkham. In this part there are several woods, most of which belonged to lord Bolingbroke, and were sold by him to the Rev. Edward Timewell Brydges, of Wotton, the present possessor of them. There is no fair held here.

THE LORDSHIP OF THE BARONY of Folkestone claims paramount over that part of this parish which is in that hundred, subordinate to which is THE MANOR OF LIDDON, the court-lodge of which is situated near the church. It belonged formerly to the abbey of West Langdon, and on the dissolution of it came to the crown, whence it was granted, anno 29 king Henry VIII. to the archbishop, together with the rectory of the church to which it was appurtenant, in the description of which hereafter a more parti cular account will be given of it. It still remains part of the possessions of his grace the archbishop.

THE MANOR OF COCKLESCOMBE, which lies in the hundred of Bewsborough, was antiently held of the castle of Dover by knight's service, being part of those lands which made up the barony of Maminot, afterwards, from its succeeding owners, called the barony of Saye. In the reign of Edward I. Ralph de Cestreton appears to have held it, and was succeeded in it by Stephen de Bocton; soon after which it was become part of the possessions of the hospital of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and this manor continued in their possession till their general dissolution in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. when it was suppressed by an act then specially passed for the purpose, and their lands and revenues were given by it to the king, who in the next year sold it to Edward Monins, esq. of Waldershare, who, anno 2 and 3 Edward VI. procured his lands to be disgavelled, and died anno 6 Edward VI. whose descendant Sir William Monins, of Waldershare, was created a baronet in 1611. His son Sir Edward Monins, bart. died possessed of this manor in 1663, leaving Elizabeth his widow, surviving, who held it in jointure at her death in 1703; upon which it devolved to the heirs and trustees of Susan, his eldest daughter and coheir, late wife of the hon. Peregrine Bertie, and they, in the reign of William and Mary, joined in the sale of it to Sir Henry Furnese, bart. of Waldershare, whose grandson Sir Henry Furnese, bart. dying in 1735 under age and unmarried, this manor, among his other estates, became vested in his three sisters, and coheirs of their father, in equal shares in coparcenary; after which, anno 9 George II. on a writ of partition, this manor was allotted, among others, to Anne the eldest daughter, wife of John, viscount St. John, whose son Frederick, became viscount Bolingbroke, and his son George, viscount Bolingbroke, sold it to Mr. Baldock, of Canterbury, who in 1791 again sold it to Mr. Peter Harnett, the occupier, who is the present possessor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

SWANTON is a manor in the south-west part of this parish, within the hundred of Folkestone, and adjoining to Swingfield, in which part of it lies. At the time of taking the survey of Domesday, this manor, or at least the principal part of it, was in the possession of the bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in it:

Ralph de Curbespine holds of the bishop Svanetone. It was taxed at two sulings. The arable land is . . . . . In demesne there is one carucate, and two borderers with half a carucate.

Of this land Robert de Barbes holds one suling, and has there three villeins with half a carucate, and one Hugo holds one suling, and has there one carucate in demesne and one borderer. In the time of king Edward the Gonfessor it was worth ten pounds, when he received it thirty shillings, now forty shillings, and yet it pays four pounds. Coloen held it of king Edward.

That part of it mentioned above to have belonged to one Hugo, seems to have been in the possession of Hugo de Montfort; for under the general title of his possessions in the same record I find the following entry:

The same Hugo de Montfort has . . . . . half a suling Suanetone. The arable land is one carucate. Norman held it of king Edward, and it was taxed at as much. There are four villeins having one carucate. There is wood for the pannage of five bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth twenty-five shillings, and afterwards fifteen shillings, now thirty shillings.

This manor afterwards came into the possession of owners who took their name from it; for William de Swanetone held it by knight's service in the reign of king Henry III. by a female heir of which family it went in marriage to Lutteridge, whose daughter and heir marrying John Greenford, entitled him to this manor, on whose death anno II Edward IV. Alice, one of his daughters and coheirs, carried it in marriage to Robert Monins, of Waldershare, whose son John Monins resided at Swanton. The arms of Swanton were, Argent, a fess, gules, between three chessrooks, sable; of Lutteridge, Argent, a bend between six martlets, sable; and of Greenford, Gules, a chevron ermine, between three squirrels, seiant, or. John Monins, of Swanton above-mentioned, left two sons; from Edward, the eldest, descended Sir William Monins, created a baronet; and from John, the youngest, lieutenant of Dover castle, descended John Monins, esq. now of Canterbury. In the descendants of John Monins, this manor continued down to Sir Edward Monins, bart, of Waldershare, who died possessed of it in 1663. Since which it has passed, in like manner with his other estates here, as has been already mentioned before, in the description of the manor of Cocklescombe, to George, lord viscount Bolingbroke, who sold it to Messrs. Nutt and Walker, and they, in 1792, again conveyed it to Samuel Egerton Brydges, esq. of Denton, the present owner of it.

Swanton manor, with that of Perryn, in this parish, the situation of which is now unknown, are held of the manor of Folkestone by knight's service.

The master and fellows of Emanuel college are possessed of lands in this parish and Ewell, which were given by Walter Richards in 1627, towards the maintenance of two exhibitions, to be chosen out of the sizers and subsizers of that college, and the produce of them is now applied to that purpose.


THOMAS FISHER, of St. James's, Dover, by will in 1593, devised to the poor people of Liddon 6s. 8d. to be paid yearly at the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle; and if not paid within 14 days, then the churchwardens should distrain for 13s. 4d. the money to be distributed at their discretion to the poor.

The poor constantly relieved are about nine, casually the same.

LIDDON is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Dover.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, consists of only one isle and one chancel, having a square tower at the west end, in which is one bell. The church is unceiled, except one half of the chancel. In the south wall is an arch, ornamented, with a hollow underneath, most probably for a tomb once at the base of it. There is nothing further worth mention in it.

William de Auberville, senior, on his foundation of the priory of West Langdon, in 1192, gave to it this church of St. Mary of Ledene, in pure and perpetual alms, which was confirmed by Simon de Albrincis, (fn. 1) and by Sir Simon de Cryoll, great-grandson of the former. After which, archbishop Walter granted licence for the canons of the priory to serve in it themselves, which prevented a vicarage being endowed in it; and the prior and canons thenceforward appropriated the whole profits of this church to themselves. In which state it continued till the dissolution of the priory, which happened anno 27 Henry VIII. when it was suppressed, as not having annual revenues of the amount of the clear value of two hundred pounds, and was given, with all its lands and possessions, to the king, who in his 29th year, granted it, among other possessions of the priory, in exchange to the archbishop. In which state it continues at this time, his grace the archbishop being now entitled to the rectory of this church, with the manor of Liddon appurtenant to it.

In the deed of exchange above-mentioned, anno 29 Henry VIII. of the grant of the scite of the abovementioned priory, and its possessions, to the archbishop, they are made subject to the payment of 3l. 11s. 8d. to the curate of Liddon; by which it should seem that the cure of it was then esteemed a curacy. However, in the valuation in the king's books it is mentioned as a vicarage, of the yearly value of 6l. 6s. 2d. It is now a discharged living, of the yearly certified value of thirty-two pounds. In 1588 it was valued at only ten pounds, communicants fifty-two. In 1640 here were the same number of communicants.

Archbishop Juxon, anno 15 Charles II. augmented this vicarage eighteen pounds per annum, to be paid by the lessee of the parsonage; and archbishop Tenison, by will in 1714, left to the augmentation of it two hundred pounds, to which was added two hundred pounds more by the governors of queen Anne's bounty.

Church of Liddon.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. Edward Parke, A.B. ob. 1637. (fn. 2).
Robert Pownall, A. M. inducted Sept. 9, 1637.
William Russell, in 1662. (fn. 3)
John Harman Swinkell, March 8, 1669, obt. 1673.
Andrew Pearne, A. B. Dec. 22, 1672, obt. 1675.
Thomas Griffin, clerk, August 6, 1675, obt. 1704.
Since which this vicarage has been held IN SEQUESTRATION, by
Edward Hobbes, 1762.
Alexander James, in 1762, Thomas Freeman, M. A. 1775. (fn. 4)


  • 1. See Dugd. Mon. p. 622, 623.
  • 2. Likewise vicar of River, as were his two successors.
  • 3. Vicar of Ewell, and afterwards of River.
  • 4. Minor canon of Canterbury; rector of St. Martin, and Vicar of St. Paul's, Canterbury: also the present sequestrator of River.