Parishes: Postling

Pages 210-218

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 from that of Newington eastward, being written in Domesday, Postlinges, and in later records both Postlinge and Postling.

THE PARISH of Postling lies unpleasant and unfrequented, at the foot of the ridge of down or chalk hills, which are its northern boundaries. The village, having the church on the side of it, though at no great distance from the foot of them, lies very wet and swampy, from the numbers of springs in and about it. At a small distance from it is a farm, called the Pent; and lower down another, called Shrine; both belonging to Sir Edward Knatchbull, bart. In the eastern part is Postling-lees, being a grass-common of about sixty acres. The inhabitants of all the houses in this parish, except those of the Pent and Postling-court, are entitled to pasturage on this common, at the proportion of one cow to an acre and an half. Round the upper part of it are several houses, one of which is the parsonage; and at the lower corner of it are Postling-vents, where there is much coppice wood. The parish is about three miles each way; the soil in the Upper or northern part is chalky, but the rest of it is a stiff panny clay, and at most times very wet. Under the hills, above the church, rise those springs, which form the head of that branch of the river stour, called, to distinguish it from the other which rises at Lenham, the Old Stour, the principal one of which rises close to the church here, under the foot of that hill which has a single yew-tree on it. This spring, which comes out of the rock, at five or six spout-holes, big enough to receive a man's hand, is, through there are five or six others within half a mile of it, and all of them contained within the same sinus, what is commonly called the river head, and is a constant fountain, which never fails in the driest seasons. Hence it flows through this parish to Stanford, and thence under a bridge across the road to Westenhanger, and so on to Ashsord and Canterbury. When Lambarde wrote his Perambulation, in 1570, here was a park; but it has been long since disparked.

THE MANOR OF POSTLING was, at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, part of the possessions of Hugo de Montsort, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in that record:

In Hen hundred, Roger holds of Hugo, Postlinges. Sbernbiga held it. It was taxed at two sulings and an half. The arable land is thirteen carucates. In demesne there are three, and sixteen villeins, with seven borderers having seven carucates. There are two small churches, and two mills of six shillings, and forty acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of forty bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth ten pounds, and afterwards one hundred shillings, now fourteen pounds.

Of this manor Ralph de Curbespine holds three dennes, which are without the division, and are worth fifteen shillings.

The same Hugo holds half a sulings, which Aldred bot held of king Edward without a halimote. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is three carucates. There is one villein, with four borderers. There is no carucate remaining, one mill of twenty-five pence, and five acres of meadow.

On the voluntary exile of Robert de Montfort, his grandson, in the reign of king Henry I. this manor, among the rest of his possessions, came into the king's hands, whence it was, not long afterwards, granted to Philip de Columbers, or de Columbariis, as the name was then written in Latin, a family of eminent reputation, descended from Ranulph de Columbels, who is several times mentioned, in Domesday, as holding lands in this county. Philip de Columbers, grandson of Philip above mentioned, in the 32d year of Henry III. obtained licence for free-warren within his manor here, the church of which he gave to the canons of St. Radigund. His son of the same name, confirmed the above gift to that abbey, and at the same time granted to it besides the tithes of seventeen acres of land, which he had taken into his park here, and dying anno 5 king Edward I. left his brother John his heir, who held it by knight's service of Dover castle, being part of those fees which made up the barony called the Constabularie. He died anno 34 of that reign, having received summons to parliament among the barons of this realm. His son Philip de Columbers died in the 16th year of king Edward III. (fn. 1) possessed inter alia of this manor, jointly with Eleanor his wife, who then succeeded to it, and died possessed of it next year, when it was found by the inquisition, that James de Audeley was her next heir. He passed it away to John de Delves, of Delves-hall, in Staffordshire, who was one of the retinue, and an esquire to the above-mentioned James de Audeley, baron of Heleigh, and attended him in the wars in France. He was a person of eminent account, and in regard to his signal services at the battle of Poictiers, in France, added a part of the lord Audley's arms to his own, which were Argent, a chevron, gules, between three delves, or turves, sable, altering the plain chevron, gules, to fretty, or, in allusion to the lord Audley's arms, which was, Gules, a fret, or. He was likewise one of the esquires of the body to Edward III. and was knighted and made one of the justices of the king's bench, and died anno 43 Edward III. s. p. (fn. 2) He seems at his death to have vested this manor by his will in trustees, who that same year sold it to Sir John Fitzalan de Arundel, who was usually called Sir John Arundel, and bore for his arms, Gules, a lion rampant, or. He was third son of Richard, second earl of Arundel, by Eleanor his second wife, daughter of Henry Plantagenet, earl of Lancaster, and became lord Maltravers. He was drowned on shipboard, near the coast of Ireland, in the 3d year of Richard II. His grandson John Fitzalan, lord Maltravers, in the 3d year of king Henry V. by the death of his kinsman Thomas, earl of Arundel, succeeded to that title a5 nearest heir male to him, and it was confirmed to him by parliament; in whose descendants, earls of Arundel, this manor continued down to Henry, earl of Arundel, who in the 38th year of king Henry VIII. alienated it to Sir Anthony Aucher, of Otterden, who died anno 4 and 5 Philip and Mary, and was succeeded by John Aucher, esq. of Otterden place, his eldest son, who leaving by his first wife an only daughter and heir Anne, she entitled her husband Sir Humphry Gilbert, to the possession of it. (fn. 3) He sold this manor in the 21st year of queen Elizabeth to Thomas Smith, esq. of Westenhanger, commonly called the Customer, whose grandson Sir Thomas Smithe, K. B. was in 1628 created viscount Strangford, of the kingdom of Ireland. His son Philip, viscount Strangford, conveyed this manor, among his other estates, to trustees, for the payment of his debts, and they, at the latter end of king Charles II.'s reign, alienated it to Thomas Gomeldon, esq. of Sellindge, whose son Richard dying s. p. Meliora his sister became entitled to it, and she carried it in marriage to Thomas Stanley, esq. of Lancashire, on whose attainder for treason in 1715, it became forfeited to the crown during their joint lives, and was by the commissioners of forseited estates sold, for that term, to Sir William Smith. On their death the possession and inheritance of it returned to their son Richard Stanley, esq. who being insane, a commission of lunacy was granted, and William Dicconson, who had married his sister Meliora, was appointed committee for this purpose, who on account of this manor and other estates being heavily incumbered with debts, obtained an act in 1750 to sell some part of them, to discharge the same; in consequence of which, this manor of Postling was that year alienated to the trustees of Sir Windham Knatchbull, bart. then a minor. He died possessed of it in 1763, unmarried, and was succeeded in title and estates by his uncle and heir Sir Edward Knatchbull, bart. of Hatch, whose son of the same name, and M.P. for this county, is the present proprietor of this manor.

HENEWOOD, now called the Honywood farm, is an estate in the southern part of this parish, which was formerly accounted a manor. It was in very early times the property and residence of the family of Honywood, antiently written Henewood, which name they assumed from it; and it appears by the leiger book of Horton priory, that Edmund de Henewood, who then resided here, was a liberal benefactor to it; but they afterwards quitted this place for their seat of Sene, in Newington, near Hythe. At length John Honywood, esq. of Sene, became possessed of it, and having married twice, devised this estate to his eldest son by his second wife, Robert Honywood, esq. of Postling, in whose descendants it continued down to John Le Mot Honywood, esq. of Markshall, in Essex, who dying s. p. in 1693, by his will devised it to his kinsman Robert Honywood, esq. afterwards of Markshall, whose grandson Richard dying an infant, in 1758, the possession of it came to his only surviving uncle Philip Honywood, esq. of Markshall, and general of his Majesty's forces, &c. (fn. 4) who dying in 1785, without surviving issue, gave it by will to his relation Filmer Honywood, esq. now of Markshall, in Essex, who is the present owner of it. There are no parochial charities. The poor constantly relieved are about twenty, casually forty.

POSTLING is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the dioceseof Canterbury, and deanryof Eleham.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is very antient, and consists of one isle and one chancel, having a low pointed tower at the west end, in which hang three bells. At the north-east corner of the chancel, within the altar-rails, is an antient tomb without any inscription on it. No part of the church is ceiled. In the chancel, against the north wall, is a small stone fixed in it, with an inscription in old capitals, denoting, that on the 19th cal. Sept. on the day of St. Eusebius, confessor of the Roman church, this church was dedicated in honor of St. Mary. This Kennet takes notice of, in his Parochial Antiquities, p. 609, for, says he, in the first form of consecrating churches in England which we meet with, at a synod held at Calchyth, under Wulsred, archbishop, anno 816, it was decreed, that when a church was built, care should be taken by the diocesan that the saint, to whom it was dedicated, should be pictured on the wall, on a tablet, or on the altar; and Dugdale had an old transcript of a decree made by archbishop Winchelsea, who died anno 1313, and confirmed by archbishop Reynolds his successor, by which the parishes throughout his province were to provide, that the image of the saint, to whose memory the church was dedicated, should be carefully preserved in the chancel of every parish church.

The church of Postling was antiently appendant to the manor, and continued so till Philip de Columbers, the third lord of it of that name, in the reign of king Henry III. gave it to the abbot and convent of St. Radigund, which gift was confirmed anno 1260 by that king, by his charter of inspeximus, and by his successor Philip de Columbers. This church was appropriated to the above abbey before the 8th year of Richard II. in which state it remained, together with the advowson of the vicarage, till the dissolution of the abbey in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, who granted the scite of it, with all its possessions, that year, to the archbishop, in exchange for other lands, (fn. 5) who soon afterwards conveyed them back again to the crown; but in the deed of it, among other exceptions, was that of all churches and advowsons of vicarages; by virtue of which, the appropriation of the church of Postling, together with the advowson of the vicarage, remained part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, as they do at this time, his grace the archbishop being now entitled to the inheritance of this appropriation, as well as to the advowson of the vicarage.

In the valuation of spiritualities and temporalities, in the diocese of Canterbury, anno 8 Richard II. 1384, among small benefices not taxed to the tenth, was this of Postling, then valued at four pounds.

It was valued in the king's books at 61. 8s. 1½d. and the yearly tenths at 12s. 9¾d. In 1588 it was valued at forty pounds, communicants sixty-six. In 1640 it was valued at fifty pounds, communicates as before.

Archbishop Sancrost, in 1688, for the improvement of this vicarage, upon the near expiration of the lease of the parsonage, granted a new lease of it for twentyone years, determinable with the incumbency without any fine, at the small improved rent of four pounds per annum, to answer the profits of the future fine to the revenues of his see, for the sole benefit of the vicar and his successors; by which means this vicarage was augmented to double its former value; so that now the vicar pays ten pounds rent yearly to the archishop, as well for yearly rent as in lieu of fines, and the lease is in course renewed to each incumbent vicar.

Church of Postling.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. William Hawkins, resig. 1588.
Abraham Ireland, March 3, 1588, obt. 1608. (fn. 6)
Alexander Lumsden, A. M. July 22, 1608, obt. 1625.
Robert Udney, A. M. May 17, 1625, obt. 1627.
Edward Emptage, A.M. June 6, 1627, and in 1643.
James Kaye, Oct. 7, 1662, resigned 1688. (fn. 7)
Basil Kennet, August 7, 1668, obt. 1686. (fn. 8)
John Turner, clerk, Feb. 26, 1686. (fn. 9)
Robert Payne, obt. Oct. 1741. (fn. 10)
John Jones, A. M. March 26, 1742, obt. Dec. 1750. (fn. 11)
Silas Drayton, Feb. 12, 1751, obt. 1767. (fn. 12)
John A. Stock, A. M. March 7, 1767, obt. 1792. (fn. 13)
Rich. Blackett Dechair, L. L. B. 1792, the present vicar. (fn. 14)


  • 1. See Cotton's Records, p. 3, 6, and 26.
  • 2. See Baronettage, edit. 1720, vol. ii. p. 294.
  • 3. See an account of her vol. vi. of this history, p. 476.
  • 4. See a full account of the descent of this manor in the family of Honywood, in vol. v. p. 437.
  • 5. Augmentation-office inrolm. Kent, box A. 21.
  • 6. He exchanged the vicarage of Waltham with his predecessor for this of Postling.
  • 7. He resigned this vicarage for that of Newenden.
  • 8. He held this vicarage with the rectory of Dimchurch. He was father to White Kennet, bishop of Peterborough. See Wood's Ath. Oxon. vol. ii. p. 408, 1131.
  • 9. He rebuilt the house of this vicarage.
  • 10. Likewise rector of Saltwood.
  • 11. The profits of this vicarage had been sequestered some months before his death, for neglect of duty.
  • 12. He resigned the rectory of Crundal for this vicarage, and was buried in Crundal church.
  • 13. He was preferred in Gloucestershire, and was also one of the six preachers of Canterbury cathedral.
  • 14. And vicar of Shebbertswell, with Coldred.