Parishes: Hurst

Pages 327-331

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

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ANTIENTLY called Falconers Hurst, from a family who were once the possessors of it, lies the next parish southward, near the foot of the clay-hills, being partly within the level of Romney Marsh, and the liberty and jurisdiction of the justices of it, and partly within that of the county.

HURST is a parish but little known, and of as little account, lying near the foot of the clay-hills, next to the level of the Marsh, in which the lower or southern part of it is, but the upper or northern part is without that jurisdiction, and within that of the justices of the county. There are but two houses in it, nor is there any thing worth further mention in it.

THE MANOR OF HURST, was given by Henry II. to William, son of Balderic, to hold in sergeantry, by the service of keeping one hawk, for the king and his successors, at their pleasure, whose descendant Godfrey le Huton, afterwards surnamed Le Falconer, from his tenure of this mansion, possessed it in the 43d year of king Henry III. From which circumstances likewise it gained the name of Falconers Hurst, and as sometimes knights service was annexed to a sergeantry, so this manor was held likewise by the service of the 60th part of a knight's fee. (fn. 1) He died possessed of this manor, held as above-mentioned in capite, in the 7th year of king Edward I. His son Robert le Fauconer, in the 21st year of that reign, was allowed free-warren, view of frank-pledge, assize of bread and beer, and other liberties within this manor; and from him it descended to John Fauconer, who, in the 17th year of king Richard II. was found to die possessed of this manor of Herst Fauconer, with the advowson of the church, held as above-mentioned, bearing for his arms, in allusion to their tenure here, Quarterly, argent and azure, a falcon volant, or. He left two sons, Henry, who from his residence at Michelgrove, in Sussex, had taken that name, and John, who retained the name of Fauconer. Henry Michelgrove, the eldest son, succeeded him in this manor and advowson, and died the next year, as did John his son, three years afterwards, an infant, and in wardship to the king. On which John, his uncle, who had taken the name of Michelgrove, succeeded him here, as did his descendant of the same name in the 1st year of king Henry IV. leaving an only daughter and heir Elizabeth, who afterwards carried this estate, as well as the seat of Michelgrove, in marriage to John Shelley, esq. afterwards of Michelgrove, in whose descendants it continued down to the right hon. Sir John Shelley, bart. who alienated this manor, with the advowson of the church, to George Carter, esq. of Kennington, whose only son the Rev. George Carter, now of Kennington, is the present owner of it. (fn. 2)

FALCONHURST, alias GOLDENHURST, is a capital messuage and estate here, which formerly was part of the manor of Hurst above-mentioned, from which it was alienated in very early times. How it passed asterwards, I have not found, but in king Edward VI.'s reign it was in the possession of Thomas Colepeper, who alienated it to May; afterwards, in Charles II.'s reign, it was the property of Nathaniel Wall, gent. of Middlesex, who in the year 1675 suffered a recovery of it. After which it was alienated to a family named Le Marchant, who had been settled in the parish of Aldington ever since queen Elizabeth's reign, and afterwards resided in the island of Guernsey, from whom it was sold to George Gipps, esq. of Canterbury, and he passed it away again to William Deedes, esq. of St. Stephen's, whose son of the same name is the present owner of it.

There are no parochial charities. The poor constantly relieved are not more than one or two, casually five.

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

The church, which was dedicated to St. Leonard, has been ruinated ever since the year 1530, nor is there a stone remaining of it, a dry ditch, which once encompassed it, being all that discovers the scite of it, which was close to the manor-house.

It is a rectory, and has always been appendant to the manor of Hurst, as such, it is now of the patronage of the Rev. George Carter, the present lord of the manor. In the 8th year of Richard II. anno 1384, it was valued at 4l. and on account of its small income, was not taxed to the tenth. It is valued in the king's books at 4l. 18s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 9s. 10d. In 1588 it was valued at twenty pounds, communicants six. In 1640 it was valued at forty pounds.

The parishioners resort for divine service to the church of Aldington, where the christenings, marriages, burials, and other occasional duties, are performed.

Church of Hurst.

Or by whom presented.
The Queen. Justinian Evans, July 3, 1596, resigned 1601. (fn. 3)
John Napp, of London, hac vice. William Daunton, A. M. June 18, 1601, obt. 1605.
William Willard, gent. of London Rufus Rogers, A. M. Nov. 16, 1605, resigned.
Sir Charles Shelley, bart. Reginald Carew, A. M. June 6, 1663, obt. 1683.
Griffith Bodurden. John Wynne, A. M. June 3, 1683.
John Shelley. Henry Hughes, June 13, 1684, obt. 1704.
Henry Bagnall, Sept. 13, 1704, resigned 17 .
Sir John Shelley, bart. William Gurney, A. M. May 21, 1726, obt. 1756. (fn. 4)
Sir John Shelley, bart. John Myoncts, March 11, 1756, obt. 1779.
George Carter, esq. of Kennington. George Carter, A. M. inducted Jan. 10, 1780, the present rector. (fn. 5)


  • 1. Mag. Rot. 34 Hen. III. m. Ib.Madox's Excheq. p. 453.
  • 2. See Kennington before, vol. vii. p. 546.
  • 3. In the instrument of resignation he is called Zacharius.
  • 4. Presented to the vicarage of Westwell in 1730.
  • 5. Only son of the patron, and now the patron of this rectory.