Parishes: Orgarswike

Pages 270-272

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

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USUALLY called Argaswike, lies the next parish northward from Dimchurch, wholly in the level of Romney Marsh, and within the liberty and jurisdiction of the justices of it. In antient writings it is written Ordgareswice, and probably took its name from some Saxon owner of it.

There is nothing worthy of notice in this parish, the lands of which are an entire flat of marsh-grounds, without a hedge or tree among them. There is but one house in the parish, which is the court-lodge, consequently it has a miserable and forlorn aspect, notwithstanding which, the number of sheep and cattle interspersed over it, cannot fail to bring to mind the increase of wealth it brings to the occupiers of it. Near the above-mentioned house are a few stones, being the only remains left of the church.

The MANOR OF ORGARSWIKE was given by Offa, king of Mercia, in 791, to Christ church, and it seems afterwards to have continued without interruption par cel of the possessions of it. This manor appears, sometime before the reign of king Edward I. to have had, among other liberties, that of free-warren granted to it. For in the 7th year of that reign, the prior claimed it for this manor, when it was allowed him, for though he had never made use of it, yet by his charters of liberties he had a right to it. And king Edward II. in his 10th year, confirmed to the prior and convent, free warren in all their demesne lands in Orgariswick, among other places. In which state it afterwards continued, till the dissolution of the priory in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, who settled it by his dotation charter, in his 33d year, on his new-erected dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose possessions it still remains.

The demesne lands have been from time to time demised on a beneficial lease, the interest of which was formerly in the Manwood's, afterwards of the Groves's, and is now of William Jemmett, esq. of Ashford. There is no court held for it.

The dean and chapter of Canterbury are likewise possessed of a marsh in this parish, called Orgarswick marsh, containing eighty-eight acres, which before belonged to the priory of Christ-church, (ad hospitium), which is demised by them on a beneficial lease.

There are no parochial charities, and there is not more than one person relieved in a twelvemonth.

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

The church, which has been long since ruinated, ecclesia destructa, is a rectory, which in the 8th year of king Richard II. anno 1384, was valued at four pounds, and on occasion of its poverty was not taxed to the tenth. It is valued in the king's books at three pounds, and the yearly tenths at six shillings. It is now of the yearly value of about twenty pounds. There is one acre of glebe.

Church of Orgasrswike.

Or by whom presented
The King, by lapse. Daniel Bollen. A. M. June 18, 1631. (fn. 1)
Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. The same, second induction, Sept. 6, 1633, resigned 1635.
William Tunstall, December 12, 1635.
William Fordan, clerk, obt. 1681.
William Culling, clerk, July 23, 1681, obt. 1709.
David Jones, A. M. May 31, 1709, obt. Aug. 20, 1750 (fn. 2)
John Airson, A.M. March 18, 1751, obt. Dec. 13, 1787. (fn. 3)
Martin Benson, A. M. presented Dec. 1787, resigned 1791 (fn. 4)
H. F. Todd, A. M. 1791, resig. 1792. (fn. 5)
John Francis, A. M. 1792, the present rector. (fn. 6)


  • 1. Rym. Fæd. vol.xix. p. 359.
  • 2. And rector of Upper Hardres.
  • 3. Likewise rector of St. Martin's, and vicar of St. Paul's churches, in Canterbury, and one of the minor canons of that cathedral.
  • 4. He was chaplain to the chapel of Tunbridge Wells, and resigned this rectory on being collated to that of Metsham, in Surry.
  • 5. He resigned this rectory for the vicarage of Milton. See vol. vi. p. 192.
  • 6. Likewise vicar of Willesborough, and under master of the king's school, Canterbury.