Parishes: Braborne

Pages 14-27

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

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LIES the next parish to Bircholt north-eastward, being written in Domesday both Breburne and Bradeburne, and taking its name from its situation on the broad bourne or rivulet which rises in it.

THE PARISH is situated at the foot of the upper range of the chalk or down-hills, which reach from hence to the sea shore at Folkestone, and here take the name of Braborne downs; it is an unfrequented place, and from the soils of it not a pleasant one, for near the downs it is mostly chalk; the middle part, though there are various soils in it, consists mostly of a stiff, though not unfertile clay, and the southern part is a deep red sand. It is about two miles across from north to south, and somewhat more from east to west, stretching itself along a narrow slip beyond Hampton, almost as far as the village of Brooke, and on the other part within a very little of Stowting court-lodge. The village of Braborne, having the church and court-lodge in it, lies at the foot of the Down-hill, on the side of a wide valley, which extends below it southward. At the foot of the hills westward are Combe, Bedlestone, the hamlet of West Braborne-street and Hampton. The parish is well watered by several rivulets, one of them, which rises in and near Braborne-street, runs southward into that branch of the Stour below Scottshall, and so on by Sevington to Ashford; and there are others, which from the foot of the hills, more towards the west, which join the stream which runs by Swatfield bridge towards Ashford likewise.

In the southern part of the parish is the heath called Braborne-lees, one half of which only is within the bounds of it; across these lees the high road goes from Ashford towards Hythe. Here is a noted warren for rabbits, belonging to the Scotts-hall estate, they are of a remarkable fine flavor, from which Canterbury, and all the neighbouring towns are plentifully supplied with them. A fair is held in the village on the last day of May, for pedlary and toys.

That part of it which is within the borough of Cocklescombe, is in the hundred, and within the liberty of the royal manor of Wye.

THE MANOR OF BRABORNE, soon after the dissolution of the Saxon heptarchy, was, according to a very antient record, the inheritance of a lady called Salburga, who is stiled in it Domina de Brabourne, and by her will, in the year 864, ordered that the future possessors of it should give yearly to the monastery of St. Augustine, a quantity of provisions, on condition of their performing certain religious services for the health of her soul; which provisions were forty measures of malt, fifteen rams, twenty loaves of bread, one measure of butter, one measure of cheese, four cart loads of wood, and twenty hens. Who were the possessors of this manor afterwards till the time of the Norman conquest, does not appear; but at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, it was become part of the pos sessions of Hugo de Montfort, on whom that prince had bestowed likewise more than thirty other manors and estates in the neighbourhood of it. Accordingly he is numbered in that record as one of the thirteen, (for there are no more) who held lands in this county at that time, and under the general title of his lands this manor is thus entered in it.

In Wivart lath, in Berisout hundred, Hugo himself holds Breburne, Godric de Burnes held it of king Edward, and it was taxed at seven sulings, and now for five sulings and an half and half a yoke, because another part of it is without the division of Hugo, and that the bishop of Baieux holds. The arable land is fifteen carucates. In demesne there are two, and thirty-one villeins, with ten borderers having ten carucates. There is a church, and eight servants, and two mills of seven shillings, and twenty acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of twenty-five bags. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth twenty pounds, and afterwards eight pounds, now sixteen pounds.

That part mentioned above, as without the division of Hugo de Montfort, is likewise noticed in the same book, in the description of the adjoining manors of Hastingligh and Aldelows, belonging to the bishop of Baieux, as may be seen hereafter, in the account of them.

On the voluntary exile of Robert de Montfort, grandson of Hugh above-mentioned, in the reign of king Henry I. this manor, among the rest of his possessions, came into the king's hands, whence it was soon afterwards granted to Robert, son of Bernard de Ver, constable of England, who had married Adeliza, daughter of Hugh de Montfort, and was the founder of the priory of Horton, in the next adjoining parish. (fn. 1) After which it appears to have come into the possession of Henry de Essex, who was constable likewise of Eng land, from his succession to which, as well as from other circumstances, it should seem that he became entitled to this manor by inheritance Henry de Essex, before-mentioned, was baron of Raleigh, in Essex, his chief seat, and hereditary standard-bearer of England; but by his misbehaviour in a battle against the Welsh, in the 10th year of that reign, he forfeited all his possessions to the crown. (fn. 2) Before which he had confirmed to the priory of Horton all the former grants of his ancestors. And by another charter he granted to it, in free and perpetual alms, the pasture of twelve oxen in his park of Braborne, with his own oxen, for so long as they should be at feed, whether within his park or without; and all tithe of his hay, to be taken wholly and fully with his carriages to the barns of the monks. After which this manor appears to have been held by Baldwin de Betun, earl of Albermarle, who, in the 5th year of king John, granted it to William Mareschal, earl of Pembroke, with Alice his daughter in frank marriage, to hold to them and their heirs. William, earl of Pembroke, in the 10th year of king Henry III. his first wife being deceased, married Alianore, the king's sister, and in the 14th year of that reign had a confirmation of this manor, on condition that Alianore his wife, if she survived him, should enjoy it for life. He died in the 15th year of that reign, and she became possessed of it, and afterwards remarried Simon, earl of Leicester, who was slain fighting on the part of the discontented barons at the battle of Evesham. After which the countess and her children were forced to forsake the realm, and she died abroad in great poverty. In the mean time the four brothers of William, earl of Pembroke, successively earls of Pembroke, being dead s. p. their inheritance became divided between their five sisters and their heirs, and upon the division of it, the manor of Braborne, among others, was allotted to Joane, the second sister, then the widow of Warine de Montchensie, by whom she had one son William, and a daughter Joane, married to William de Valence, the king's half brother, who afterwards, through the king's favour, on William de Montchensie's taking part with the discontented barons, and his estates being confiscated, became possessed of this manor, of which he died possessed in the 23d year of king Edward I. leaving Joane his widow surviving, who had it assigned to her as part of her dower. She died in the 1st year of king Edward II. holding it in capite by knight's service, as of the king's marechalsy, and leaving one son Adomar or Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, and three daughters; Anne, married to Maurice Fitzgerald, secondly to Hugh Baliol, and lastly to John de Avennes; Isabel, to John de Hastings, of Bergavenny; and Joane, to John Comyn, of Badenagh. (fn. 3) Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, on her death, succeeded to this manor, and in the 6th year of that reign, obtained a charter of privileges for it, among which were those of a market, fair, and free-warren. He was a nobleman greatly favoured by king Edward I. and II. but in the 17th year of the latter reign, attending the queen into France, he was murdered there that year. He died possessed of this manor, and without issue; so that John de Hastings, son of Isabel, one of the earl's sisters, and John Comyn, of Badenagh, in Scotland, son of Joane, another of the earl's sisters, were found to be his coheirs and next of kin; and the latter of them, on the division of their inheritance, had this manor, in his mother's right, allotted to him. He died s. p. in the 19th year of king Edward II. leaving his two sisters his coheirs, of whom the eldest, Joane, married to David de Strabolgie, earl of Athol, possessed this manor as part of his wife's inheritance, and died next year. His descendant David de Strabolgie, earl of Athol, died in the 49th year of that reign, possessed of this manor, (fn. 4) leaving by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Henry, lord Ferrers, who died the same year, anno 1375, and was buried in the high chancel of Ashford church, two daughters his coheirs, the youngest of whom Philippa, married to John Halsham, of Halsham, in Sussex, by her father's will, became entitled to this manor. The Halshams bore for their arms, Argent, a chevron engrailed, between three leopards heads, gules. Their grandson Sir Hugh Halsham, died anno 21 Henry VI. leaving Joane, his only daughter and heir, who entitled her husband John Lewknor, esq. of Sussex, to the possession of it; in whose descendants it continued till the latter end of king Henry VII.'s reign, when Sybilla, daughter of Sir Thomas Lewknor, carried it in marriage to Sir William Scott, K. B. and in his descendants, resident at Scotts-hall, this manor, with the rents, services, courtlodge, and demesne lands, remained, till at length George Scott, esq. about the year 1700, sold the manor-house, called Braborne court-lodge, with the demesne lands belonging to it, being enabled so to do by an act passed anno 10 and 11 William III. to Tho. Denne, of Patricksborne, whose grandsons Daniel and Thomas Denne, of Sittingborne, in 1768, conveyed this estate to William Deedes, esq. of St. Stephen's, (who was before possessed of an estate in this parish, which had been purchased of George Scott, esq. by his grandfather William Deedes, M. D. of Canterbury) and his eldest son of the same name, now of Hythe, esq. is the present owner of it.

BUT THE MANOR RENTS AND SERVICES remained in the family of Scott for some time afterwards, and till Edward Scott, esq. some few years ago, alienated the quit-rents of this manor, together with the Park and Pound farms, in this parish, to Thomas Whorwood, esq. of Denton, who by will devised them for life to Mrs. Cecilia Scott, of Canterbury, daughter of George Scott, esq. before-mentioned, on whose death in 1785 the property of them became vested in lady Markham, widow of Sir James Markham, bart. of Lincolnshire, who was Mr. Whorwood's heir-at-law, and she sold them in 1787 to Sir Edward Knatchbull, bart. the present owner of them.

BUT THE MANOR OF BRABORNE ITSELF, with the court baron and other manerial rights belonging to it, remained in the descendants of George Scott, esq. down to Francis Talbot Scott, esq. whose trustees, about the year 1784, conveyed it, with his other estates in this neighbourhood, to Sir John Honywood, bart. of Evington, who is the present proprietor of it.

HEMINGE is a manor, lying at the south-east corner of this parish, next to Horton, which in antient time gave both surname and residence to a family so called, as the deeds without date belonging to it plainly shew. At length, after this manor had been in the possession of this name, as might be traced out fully by these evidences for almost three hundred years, it was conveyed by William Heminge, in the 2d year of Edward VI.'s reign, to Peter Nott, in whose descendants it continued till the 16th year of Charles II. when one of them alienated it to Avery Hills, by whose daughter and heir it went in marriage to Hobday, whose descendant sold it, in the year 1713, to Mr. John Nethersole, who left three sons surviving, John, who was of Barham; Stephen, who was of Wimlinswold; and William, who was of Canterbury, in whose three daughters, or their representatives, this manor at length became vested. They agreed on a partition of their inheritance, on which the whole of this manor was allotted to Jacob Sharpe, esq. of Canterbury, the surviving son of Mr. Jacob Sharpe, by Elizabeth, the eldest of the three daughters, who in 1796 sold it to Mr. Thomas Ken nett, of Brabourn, who is the present possessor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

COMBE is another manor, in the northern part of this parish, close at the foot of the downs, which name it had from its situation, cumbe signifying in the Saxon a bottom or valley, and to distinguish it from other manors of the same name in this neighbourhood, it was called Braborne Combe. About the year 990, one Edward de Cumbe, whose son Leofard was a monk in St. Augustine's monastery, by his will bequeatned the land of Cumbe to that monastery. Whether the abbot and convent ever gained the possession of it, or if they did, how long it staid with them, I do not find; but at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in the Conqueror's reign, it was parcel of the possessions of the bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is entered in it as follows:

The same Wadard holds of the bishop, Cumbe. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is one, and nine villeins, with five borderers having one carucate and an half. There are fourteen acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of five hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth sixty shillings, and afterwards fifty shillings, now four pounds, and the service of one knight. Leuret de rochinge held it of king Edward.

After this, on the bishop of Baieux's disgrace, this manor was held of the crown, by a family who took their name from their residence at it; of whom Richard de Combe, and Simon his son, served the office of sheriff, as assistants to Sir John de Northwood, in the 20th year of king Edward I. and bore for their arms, Sable, three lions passant-guar dant, in pale, gules. At length by a female heir of this name, it went by marriage, in the reign of king Richard II. to John Scott, who afterwards resided at it, as did his descendants till Sir William Scott removed to Scotts-hall at the latter end of king Henry IV.'s reign; and in his descendants, of Scotts-hall, this manor continued down to George Scott, esq. of Scotts-hall, who procured an act anno 10 and 11 king William, to vest this manor, among his other estates, in trustees, to be sold for payment of his debts, in pursuance of which it was soon afterwards sold to Brook Bridges, esq. of Goodnestone, afterwards created a baronet, whose great-grandson Sir Brook Bridges, bart. of Goodnestone, is the present possessor of it.

HAMPTON is the last manor to be described in this parish, being situated in the north-west corner of it, adjoining to Brooke. It has the name in antient deeds of Hampton Cocklescombe, and sometimes is described by the name of the manor of Cocklescombe only, being so called from its situation in the borough of that name, and within the hundred of Wye. This manor was given by Robert de Ver, constable of England, and lord of Braborne, to Osbert his marshal, and Emeline his wife, who gave it again to the priory in the adjoining parish of Horton, by the description of the land of Hanetone; which gift was confirmed to the priory by the same Robert de Ver, and Adeliza de Montfort his wife, and afterwards by Henry de Essex, (fn. 5) as appears by the register of it; of the priory of Horton this manor was afterwards again held, at the rent of forty shillings in perpetual fee farm, by a family who took their name of Hampton from their residence at it, as appears not only by the above register, but by antient deeds and court-rolls, and that they remained here till the reign of king Henry VI. when John Hampton pasted it away to one of the name of Shelley, by whose heir general it became the property of John May, of Bibroke, in Kennington, whose son of the same name leaving an only daughter Alice, the carried it in marriage to John Edolph, of Brenset, and his daughter Elizabeth entitled her husband William Wil cocks, esq. of New Romney, to it, who died possessed of this manor in the 16th year of queen Elizabeth, holding it in free socage. His widow survived him, and afterwards married Ralph Radcliffe, esq. of Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, who survived her. She died in the 39th year of that reign, and by her last will devised this manor to her only son by her first husband, John Wilcocks, who dying s. p. his two sisters became his coheirs, of whom Martha married Sir Edward Radcliffe, of Sevington, in this county, and physician to king James I. and Elizabeth married William Andrews; and on the partition of their inheritance, Sir Edward Radcliffe became entitled to the sole possession of it, in whose descendants it continued down to John Radcliffe, esq. of Hitchin priory, who dying in 1783, s. p. this manor, among his other estates, came to Sir Charles Farnaby, bart. of Sevenoke, in right of his wife Penelope, sister and heir-at-law of the above mentioned John Radcliffe. Sir Charles Farnaby afterwards took the name of Radcliffe, (fn. 6) and removed to Hitchin, where he died in 1798, and his heirs are now entitled to it.


WILLIAM FORDRED, by will in 1550, gave to this parish, among others, a proportion of the rents of 25 acres of land in St. Mary's parish, in Romney Marsh; which portion to this parish is of the annual produce of 4l. 12s. 4¾d. to be distributed annually to the poor, and vested in trustees.

MR. KNOTT gave for the use of the poor, a sum of money, vested in Robert Goddard, of Mersham, now of the annual produce of 8s.

The poor constantly relieved are about fifty-five, casually twenty-five.

BRABORNE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Elham.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is a large handsome building, consisting of two isles and two chancels, having a square tower steeple at the west end, in which are five bells. The northern isle is much lostier than the other, having an upper story, choir-like, with the three upper windows to the south; below which is the roof of the north isle. Both chancels are full of the interments of the Scott family; but the brasses and inscriptions are almost all gone. Against the north wall is a tomb, with an arch and recess over it; against the back have been two figures, with inscriptions, and two shields of brass, now gone; on the side of the tomb are two shields carved in stone, one Pympe, the other Scott. Against the opposite wall is a kind of altar, the form of which is given before, P. I. At the east end, within the rails, is a large altar-tomb against the wall, of Bethersden marble; on it the marks of a figure, the brass gone; on the front five shields, with the arms of Scott, and their several impalements. Over the tomb is a kind of altar-piece, ornamented with stone carve-work, and three shields of arms; I. Scott impaling oblit. over it the date 1290; 2, being the middle shield, Scott and the following quarterings, Beaufitz, Pympe, Pashley, Normanville, Warren, Sergeaux, Gower, and Cogan In which arms of Scott it is noted, all the bordures are plain. In the south chancel belonging likewise to the Scott family, the brasses on the gravestones, with which the pavement is covered, are all gone. In the south wall is a very antient tomb with an arch over it; underneath this tomb the late Edward Scott, esq. was buried. Against this wall is a monument for Arthur Scott, commissioner of the navy, third son of Geo. Scott, of Scotts-hall. Against the north wall a monument for lieutenant-colonel Cholmeley Scott, esq. youngest son of George Scott, esq. of Scotts-hall. Weever mentions several memorials of this family in the body of the church remaining in his time, all which have been long since obliterated, and their brasses destoryed. In the south isle is a stone, with the figure of a man in brass, habited in armour, with sword and spurs on, the latter having the rowels much like the figure of a catherine wheel; a greyhound under his feet; the inscription gone, excepting the words of Brabourne, armigr. and anno Dni mil. Against the north wall, a monument for William Richards, put up by Gabriel Richards, gent. of Rowling, in 1672; arms, Sable, a chevron between three fleurs de lis, argent; a crescent for difference. Another for John Richards, vicar, obt. 1727. In the south scite of the body of the church, is a memorial for Dionisia, daughter of Vincent Fynche, alias Harbert, esq. obt. 1458; arms, Finch impaling Cralle; and in the same isle is a stone, robbed of the figure on it, but the brass inscription remains, for Joane, daughter of Sir Gervas Cliston, married to John Diggs; arms, Clifton impaling Fineh, and Diggs impaling Clifton. The tower at the west end is of a large size, but flat at top, and only of equal height with the roof of the north isle.

Mr. Evelyn, in his Discourse on Forest Trees, mentions a superannuated yew-tree growing in this churchyard, which being 58 feet 11 inches in circumference, bore near 20 feet diameter; and besides which there were goodly planks, and other considerable pieces of square and clear timber, which he observed to lie about it, which had been hewed and sawn out of some of the arms only, torn from it by impetuous winds. This tree has been many years since gone, and a fine stately young one now flourishes in the room of it.

The church was formerly appendant to the manor, and continued so till it was given, in the beginning of king Henry II.'s reign, by Robert de Ver, lord of the manor of Braborne, to the priory of Horton, at his first foundation of it; and it was appropriated to the priory before the 8th year of king Richard II. the priory being bound to pay the tenth of the vicarage. But there does not seem to have been any endowment made till anno 1445, when there was one assigned by the prior to Thomas de Banstede, the vicar of it. (fn. 7) In which state this church, with the advowson of the vicarage, continued till the dissolution of the priory in the reign of king Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, and remained there till it was granted in exchange to the archbishop, where it still continues, the parsonage being at this time parcel of the see of Canterbury, and his grace the archbishop the present parton of the vicarage.

The parsonage is a very handsome brick house, standing at a small distance from the church-yard, to which the vicarage adjoins likewise, being a neat small brick building. The family of Kennet have been lessees for many years, Mr. Claude Kennet being the present lessee of it, who resides at it.

The vicarage of Braborne is valued in the king's books at 11l. 12s. 6d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 3s. 3d. And there is annually, by the endowment of it, paid out of the parsonage to the vicar, one seam or quarter of wheat, and the like of barley; and archbishop Juxon, anno 15 Charles II. augmented it sixteen pounds per annum, to be paid by the lessee of the parsonage. In 1640 this vicarage was valued at sixty-four pounds, communicants one hundred and six. In 1733 it was valued at one hundred pounds. There is one acre of glebe land belonging to it.

This vicarage was consolidated in the year 1776, with the rectory of Horton Monks adjoining.

Church of Braborne.

Or by whom presented.
The Archishop. John Cadman, March 28, 1594, obt. 1616.
Alexander Lumsden, Feb. 7, 1616, obt. 1625.
John Rosse, A. M. July 25, 1625.
William Johnson, A. B, July 14, 1664, obt. 1675.
John Richards, inducted March 8, 1675, obt. November 28, 1727. (fn. 8)
John Francis, A. M. Jan. 23, 1728, resigned 1733. (fn. 9)
Charles Norris, LL. B. Aug. II, 1733, obt. 1767. (fn. 10)
Joseph Price, B. D. March 5, 1767, resigned 1786. (fn. 11)
A. Purshouse, 1786, the present vicar.


  • 1. This appears by the Register of Horton priory, cart. 1 and 2. See Dugd. Mon. vol. i. p. 621, 622.
  • 2. See Morant's Essex, vol. i. p. 272. Madox's Exch. p. 409.
  • 3. See more of the Monchensies and Valences, vol. ii. p. 404.
  • 4. See Cotton's Records, p. 3, 5, and 104.
  • 5. Regist. Horton priory, cart. 3, 4, 96, 103, and 104.
  • 6. See more of the Radcliffes, vol. vii. of this history, under Sevington, p. 580.
  • 7. It appears by the register of Horton priory, that there was a process for the endowment of this vicarage in 1359; but it did not succeed. Cart. 239. Endowment ibid; cart. 240, and MSS. in Christ-church, Canterbury, marked A. 11, fol. 68a. In the same register, cart. 241, is a certificate of the bounds of this parish, anno 10 Richard I. and another, without date, cart. 243.
  • 8. And rector of Horton Monks by dispensation. He lies buried in the north isle of this church. His will is in the Prerog. off. Cant.
  • 9. He resigned this church for the rectory of Harbledown. He was master of the King's school in Canterbury, and before perpetual curate of Nackington. He died in 1734.
  • 10. Likewise rector of Goodnestone, and perpetual curate of Nackington. He lies buried in the north isle of this church, without any memorial over him.
  • 11. He had a second induction to this vicarage, on March II, 1776, on the consolidation of this vicarage with the rectory of Horton adjoining. He resigned this vicarage with that rectory, on being presented to the vicarage of Herne.