Parishes: Brenset

Pages 388-394

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 north-eastward from Brookland, almost all of it on the other or eastern side of the Rhee-wall, in the level of Romney Marsh; so much therefore as is upon that wall is within the li berty of the town and port of New Romney, and division of the justices of it, the liberty of which, and of the cinque ports, claim over it. The rest of it is in the hundred of Aloesbridge, over part of which, that is, so much as is within the level of Romney Marsh, the liberty and jurisdiction of that corporation claims; and the remaining, being the north-west part, in Walland Marsh, is within the jurisdiction of the justices of the county.

THIS PARISH is not so fertile as the last-described parish of Brookland, nor so well sheltered with trees and hedges. The greatest part of it is open marshes, the arable land in it not being more than fifty acres. There is no village, most of the houses in it standing at straggling distances on each side of the road, leading from the church to Snave-green; in other respects it is much the same as the other parishes adjoining to it. There is a fair on Whit-Monday, for toys and pedlary.

The MANOR OF BRENSET, called likewise the manor of Newington Brenset, from its having been for some time accounted a limb of that of Newington near Hyth, had always the same owners, and as such in king Henry VIII.'s reign it was become part of the possessions of Thomas, lord Cromwell, earl of Essex, before whose attainder, in the 32d year of that reign, it came by purchase from him into the king's hands, together with the manor of Newington above-mentioned. After which it continued in the crown, in like manner, till the first year of queen Mary, when she granted it to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, from whom it passed, with the manor of Newington, to which this of Brenset has ever since been accounted an appendage, in a like succession of ownership, down to James Drake Brockman, esq. of Beechborough, the present owner of it. A court leet is held for this manor.

THERE WAS a manor of Brenset, which most probably related to this parish, which was the property of the Scotts, of Scotts-hall, and afterwards of the Botelers, from whom it came by will to the family of Bouverie, and now belongs, with the manors of Orlestone and others, to the hon. William-Henry Bouverie, some mention of which has been made before, but only the name of this manor remains, for there are no rents or profits received from it, nor is even the situation of it at present known.

BRENSET-PLACE is an antient mansion in the southern part of this parish, which was the residence for many years of the family of Edolph, before they removed to Hinxhill, and wrote their name in old deedsEdulf, in which manner it appears in a commission directed to Stephen Edulf and others, collectors for the cinque ports in the 6th year of Richard II. At length, Robert Edolph removing to Hinxhill in queen Elizabeth's reign, this seat was afterwards alienated to Mr. John Fagge, gent. who resided here in the next reign of king James I. In whose descendants it continued down to Sir Robert Fagge, bart. who dying in 1740, s. p. his sisters became his heirs, one of whom married Gawen Harris Nash, esq. of Petworth, and Elizabeth married Sir Charles Mathews Goring, bart. of that county, by whose heirs, about the year 1777, this seat, with the estate belonging to it, was sold to Mr. Henry Read, of Brookland, who died possessed of it about a year afterwards, upon which it came to his only daughter and heir Anne, the wife of Thomas Kempe, esq. of Barcombe in Sussex, and M. P. for Lewes, who in her right became entitled to it, and is the present owner of it. The mansion has been for many years made use of only as a farm-house.

DEAN, alias DANE-COURT, is an estate in the western part of this parish, which was once accounted a manor. It was antiently part of the possessions of a family, who took their name from it. Ansfridus de Dene appears, by a chartularie belonging to the priory of Christ-church, to have been owner of it in king Edward I.'s reign. How long it continued in his descendants, I do not find, but it not long afterwards came into the possession of the family of Apledore, so called from the neighbouring town of Apledore, whose arms were, Or, a pile, gules, surmounted with a fefs; but before the latter end of king Edward III.'s reign, Thomas de Apledore dying s. p. Elnith, his only sister and heir, entitled her husband Thomas Roper to this manor, among the rest of his estates in these parts, (fn. 1) which continued in the younger branch of his descendants down to John Roper, esq. of Linsted lodge, afterwards knighted, and created lord Teynham. At length his descendant Henry, lord Teynham, succeeding to it, passed it away in 1705, to Sir Henry Furnese, bart. of Waldershare, who died possessed of it in 1712. His grandson Sir Henry Furnese, bart. dying in 1735, under age and unmarried, this, on the partition of his estates among his three sisters and coheirs, was allotted, among others, to Selina, the youngest; she married Edward Dering, esq. afterwards Sir Edward Dering, bart. who in her right became entitled to it, and his son of the same name, now of Surrenden, bart. is the present owner of it.

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

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

The church, which is dedicated to St. Eanswith, consists of two isles and two chancels, having a spire steeple shingled at the west end, in which hang three bells. In the north chancel is a monument, having the effigies of two men, lying at full length, for John Fagge, son of John Fagge, gent. of Rye, obt. 1639; and for John Fagge, gent. of Rye, his son, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Bandard Hodson, of Frantfield, in Sussex, obt. 1646. There are burials of the Fagges in the parish register till very lately. In the north isle, a memorial for the Rev. Mr. John Wentworth, rector of Snargate six years, and vicar of Brenset, obt. May 26, 1770.

The church of Brenset antiently belonged to the abbey of Guysnes, in Artois, in Flanders, to which it was appropriated before the 8th year of Richard II. (fn. 2) and it remained so till the reign of king Henry V. when it came into the king's hands by escheat, on the death of Katherine, the late abbess of it, and remained in the crown till king Henry VI. in his 17th year, granted it with the advowson of the vicarage, to John Kempe, archbishop of York, with licence to settle the same on his new-founded college of Wye, to hold in free, pure and perpetual alms, in augmentation of the revenues of it, and to appropriate it to the members of it and their successors for ever. In which situation it remained till the suppression of that college, anno 36 Henry VIII. when it was surrendered, with all its possessions, into the king's hands, who that year granted this church, with the advowson of the vicarage, among other premises, to Walter Bucler, esq. to hold in capite, with certain provisoes for the maintenance of the curates and schoolmaster of Wye, as may be further feen in the account before of the parlonage of Newington, contained in the same grant, (fn. 3) with which it has continued down in like manner to James Drake Brockman, esq. of Beechborough, the present owner of the parsonage and advowson of the vicarage of this church.

Besides the stipends paid to Wye college and curates, as may be seen before, (fn. 4) there is a stipend paid from it of ten guineas yearly to Christ-church college, in Cambridge, which altogether is much more than the annual profit of this parsonage, which arises from only about fifty acres of land ploughed, bringing in about twenty guineas per annum, and no more.

The vicarage of Brenset is valued in the king's books at 7l. 18s. 11½d. and the yearly tenths at 15s. 10¾d. In 1640 it was valued at eighty pounds per annum, It is now of the yearly certified value of 71l. 6s. 0¼d. There is a glebe of two acres of marsh land.

In the petition of the clergy, beneficed in Romney Marsh, in 1635, for setting aside the custom of twopence an acre, in lieu of tithe-wool and pasturage, a full account of which has been given before, under Burmarsh, the vicar of Brenset was one of those who met on this occasion; when it was agreed on all sides, that no wool in the Marsh had ever been known to have been paid in specie, other tithes being compounded for. But no evidence was produced on this head, in regard to the vicar of Brenset.

There is a modus of one shilling an acre on all grass lands in this parish.

Church of Brenset.

Or by whom presented.
Sir William Damsell. Matthew Borne, A. M. Nov. 11, 1579, obt 1600.
The Queen. Matthew Angell, A. M. Nov. 4, 1600, obt. 1623.
The King. Michael Stone, A. B. April 18, 1623, second induction Sept. 23, 1629. (fn. 5)
Thomas Russell, obt 1677.
James Brockman, esq. George Gipps, A. M. Oct. 2, 1677, obt. 1707.
William Brockman, esq. John Bunce, A. B. May 26, 1707, resigned 1737. (fn. 6)
James Brockman, esq. John Wentworth, LL. B. Feb. 22; 1738, obt. May 26, 1770. (fn. 7)
Richard Jones, 1770, obt. March 1792.
Anthony Hammond, June 1792, resigned 1794. (fn. 8)
John Wood, April 1794, the present vicar. (fn. 9)


  • 1. See an account of the family of Roper, and of the lords Teynham, vol. vi. p. 299.
  • 2. Stev. Mon. vol i p. 41 See in Harleian MSS. No. 52, 27. Proposicio and probandum diutinam possessionem, (sc. in causa ventilata) coram Joh Archiep Cant. occasione eccles. de Brensite als Chalt ham, inter alias, contra Abb. & Conv. de Guisnes, f. 108.b
  • 3. See vol. vii. p. 358, 366, and before, p. 208.
  • 4. See Newington before, p. 208.
  • 5. Presented by the lord keeper. Rym. Fæd. vol. xix. p. 145.
  • 6. See Snargate before.
  • 7. Likewise rector of Snargate. He lies buried in this church.
  • 8. Before rector of Knolton and Ivechurch, the former of which he resigned on being presented to this vicarage, as he did this for the vicarage of Limne.
  • 9. Also vicar of Herne.