Parishes: Newchurch

Pages 338-344

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 south-westward from Bonnington, in the level of Romney Marsh, and within the liberty and jurisdiction of the justices of it. Part of it, with the church, is in the hundred of Newchurch, part in the hundred of Aloesbridge, another part in the hundred of St. Martin, and the residue in that of Worth.

The whole of this parish is an entire flat of marsh grounds, with hardly a tree or hedge among them, much the same as the adjoining parishes of Eastbridge and Blackmanstone, already described. It is about three miles across each way; the village consists of only a few straggling houses near the church. There is not any thing further worth mention in it, excepting that a fair is held here on June 12, yearly, for toys and pedlary.

The MANOR OF ALDINGTON claims paramount over the greatest part of this parish, which has always been accounted an appendage to it.

Although there is no mention of this parish by name in the record of Domesday, yet there are three several descriptions of lands within the hundred of Newchurch, which can hardly relate to those in any other parish, and yet as there are no names mentioned in them, what particular ones they belong to, cannot now but by guess be ascertained. They are entered, under the general title of the lands of Hugo de Montfort, as follows:

In Limowart left, in Nevvecerce hundred, the same Hugo holds in the marsh of Romenel one yoke. The arable land is. . . . Two sochmen held a moiety of this land, and two villeins the other. There are now four villeins having one carucate. This land was and is worth twelve shillings. The same Hugo holds half a yoke, which one sochman held. There are two borderers now.

This land was rated in Titentone, (Tinton in Wareborne) because it is there tilled with the carucates of the demesne. The hundred and the burgesses of Dovre, and the tenants of the abbot of St. Augustine and Estrea left testify this, that the land of Estretone, which the canons of St. Martin of Dovre claimed against Hugo de Montfort, that Uluuile Wilde held it in fee simple, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, and it was taxed at one yoke, and there he has one carucate in demesne, and five borderers with one carucate, and one mill of twenty shillings. It is and was worth ten pounds.

And again below, under the same general title:

In Nevvecerce hundred, Hugo himself holds one parcel of land, which azor Rot held of king Edward without a halimote. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is five carucates. There are eight villeins, with three borderers having two carucates. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth eight pounds, now nine pounds. Hugo himself holds half a suling in the marsh of Romenel, and it was taxed at as much. The arable land is four carucates. Twelve sochmen held and do hold it, having four carucates. It is and was worth sixty shillings.

PACKMANSTONE is a manor in this parish, which was antiently the patrimony of the eminent family of Criol, from whom it passed in the reign of Henry III. to that of Leyborne, in which it continued till Juliana, daughter of Thomas de Leyborne, usually stiled the Infanta of Kent, died possessed of it in the 41st year of king Edward III. when it escheated to the crown for want of heirs. After which this manor continued in the crown till king Richard II. in his 11th and 22d years, settled it on the priory of Canons, alias Chiltern Langley, in Hertfordshire, (fn. 1) where it remained till the dissolution of that house, anno 30 Henry VIII. when this manor, among the other possessions of it, came into the king's hands, who the next year granted it, with scite of the priory, and other lands and estates belonging to it, to Richard, suffragan bishop of Dover, to hold for his life, or until he should be promoted to some ecclesiastical benefice or dignity, of the yearly value of one hundred pounds, upon which this grant was to be void. This certainly happened before the 36th year of that reign, for the king then granted it to Sir Thomas Moile, to hold in capite, who gave it in marriage with his youngest daughter and coheir Amy to Sir Thomas Kempe, of Ollantigh, and he in queen Elizabeth's reign alienated it to Thomas Smith, esq. of Westenhanger, commonly called the Customer, who at his death in 1591 devised it to his fourth son Sir Richard Smith, whose only son Sir John Smith dying s. p. in 1632, his two sisters became his coheirs, of whom Mary, the eldest, entitled her second husband Maurice Barrow, esq. of Suffolk, to the possession of it, and he continued owner of it after the restoration. After which it passed by sale to the Godfreys, of Hodiford, in Sellinge, with which family it continued in like manner down to Peter Godfrey, esq. of Woodford, whose second surviving son Peter Godfrey became possessed of it on his father's death. He died unmarried in 1769, and by will gave this manor to William Mackenzie, esq. of Woodford, who has since taken the name of Godfrey, and is the present owner of it.

SILWELL, or Sillowsbreg, as it was antiently called, was a manor here, which was once possessed by a family of that name, one of whom, William de Sillowsbreg, held it in king Edward II.'s reign, by knight's service of Dover castle, being part of those lands which made up the barony there, called the Constabularie, but before the 20th year of king Edward III. it was become an escheat to the crown, for that year the sheriff of Kent accounted for the capital messuage which William de Sylesbregge once held in Sylesbregge, which had come to the king by escheat, and the abbot of Boxley, and the prioress of St. Sepulchre, accounted for other parts of it.

That part of this estate which was in the possession of the abbot of Boxley, afterwards acquired the name of the manor of Sylowell, or Silwell, and remained among the revenues of the abbey till the dissolution of it in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. when it came into the hands of the crown, (fn. 2) it was, not long afterwards, granted to Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allington, who exchanged it with the king, and king Edward VI. in his first year, granted it to Sir Walter Hendley, who left three daughters his coheirs, of whom Anne, married to Richard Covert, esq. of Slaugham, in Sussex, entitled her husband to this manor, and in his descendants it continued down till king Charles II.'s reign; but who have been the owners since, and even where it is situated, I have not, with the most diligent enquiries, been able to learn.

RALPH FITZBERNARD formerly held land in Newchurch by knight's service, of the archbishop, which was again held of him by Richard de Organer, whence it gained the name of the manor of Organers, and in king Edward IV. (fn. 3) s reign was in the possession of the family of Cobbes, whose seat in this parish was called Cobbesplace, one of whom, John Cobbes, of Cobbes-place, died possessed of it anno 13 Edward IV. The scite of the manor of Organers is not now known, and the mansion of Cobbes-place has been many years since pulled down, the scite of which afterwards came into the possession of James Blackmore, esq. of Hertfordshire, whose heirs now possess it.

The COLLEGE OF ALL SOULS, in Oxford, are owners of a manor in this parish, called GOOGIE-HALL, with lands belonging to it, commonly called Cobbs, or the Lodge-land, which manor and land is demised by the college on a beneficial lease, the present lessee being Mr. Benjamin Cobbe, of New Romney.


JOHN FINCH, gent. of Limpne, by will in 1707, devised, among other charities, his three fifth parts of 43 acres, with their appurtenances, in Eastbridge and this parish; and his three five and twentieth parts, the whole in 25 parts to be divided, of two parcels of fresh marsh, called Cowlands, in this parish, to the minister, churchwardens, and overseers of Limne, and of this parish, for ever, in trust, that they of this parish should dispose of one third part of the rents and profits to six of the poorest and eldest people of this parish, who had never received alms or relief of this parish or any other, if so many should he found here, to be disposed of upon the Sunday after Christmas-day, and the day of his burial, from year to year for ever, with several provisoes and directions, as may be seen more at large in the account of Limne before. The annual produce to this parish is 61. 18s.

The poor annually relieved are about four.

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

The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a large handsome building, consisting of three isles and a chancel, having a tower with a beacon turret at the west end, in which are five bells. The pillars between the isles are beautiful. The altar piece was erected in 1775. The font is of stone, an octagon, having two shields of arms, one, Two keys in saltier; the other, A sword erect, the point upwards. There are no memorials in it. There is an antient tomb at the end of the south isle, but without inscription, and another at the end of the north isle, seemingly very antient, and in ruins. The tower is far from upright, leaning much to the westward.

The church is exempt from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon. There is both a rectory and a vicarage endowed in it. The rectory is a sinecture, and the vicar persons the whole duty of the cure, though they both receive collation and induction. The patronage of both rectory and vicarage have been long part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, his grace the archbishop being the present patron of both. The vicarage was first endowed by archbishop Winchelsea in 1297, and there was a new endowment of it by archbishop Arundel in 1404. In 1384, anno 8 Richard II. this vicarage was valued at four pounds, and on account of its slender income was not taxed to the tenth. The rectory and vicarage are valued separately in the king's books; the former at 8l. 4s. 2d. and the yearly tenths at 16s. 5d. being endowed with two, formerly four and a half, acres of glebe; and the latter at 19l. 16s. 0½d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 19s. 7¼d. In 1636 it was valued at eighty pounds, communicants eight. In 1742 the rectory and vicarage were valued together at one hundred and forty pounds.

In the petition of the clergy, beneficed in Romney Marsh, in 1635, for setting aside the custom of twopence and acre in liey of tithe-wool and pasturage, a full account of which has been given before, under Burmarsh, several acquittances were proved to have been given in the years 1620, 1621, 1624 and 1625, by the vicar of Newchurch, mentioning his having received two-pence an acre in satisfaction of those tithes, according to the custom.

There is a modus of eight-pence per acre on all grass lands in this parish.

Church of Newchurch.

Or by whom presented.
The Crown. Paul Knell, A. M. May 1662.
The Archbishop. Edward Sleighton, A. M. ind. 1672, obt. 1686.
John Pomfret, A. M. inducted September 1686, obt. June 8, 1712. (fn. 3)
Josiah Woodward, D. D. in 1712, obt. August 6, 1712. (fn. 4)
Samuel Weller, LL. B. Sept. 1712, obt. 1731. (fn. 5)
William Wilson, inducted Oct. 1731, obt. 1738.
Arthur Kite, A. M. July 15, 1738, obt. 1765.
Robert Tournay, A. M. September 18, 1765, obt. June I, 1785. (fn. 6)
Charles Stoddart, 1785, the present rector and vicar.


  • 1. Pat. anno 11 Rich. II. p. 2, m. 1, and 22 Rich. II. p. 3, m. 15. Tan. Mon. p. 188 and 226.
  • 2. Philipott, p. 247. See Augtn. off. box Kent C. 20.
  • 3. He lies buried in Biddenden church-yard.
  • 4. See an account of him in Newton's History of Maidstone, p. 69.
  • 5. Likewise rector of Sundridge, and perpetual curate of Maidstone. See Newton ibid.
  • 6. In 1765 by dispensation likewise rector of Bonnington.