The town and port of New Romney

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

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Edward Hasted, 'The town and port of New Romney', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8, (Canterbury, 1799), pp. 446-464. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

Edward Hasted. "The town and port of New Romney", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8, (Canterbury, 1799) 446-464. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "The town and port of New Romney", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8, (Canterbury, 1799). 446-464. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

In this section


WRITTEN in the survey of Domesday, Romenel, lies the next adjoining southward from Old Romney, to distinguish it from which it was called New Romney. The greatest part of it is within the liberty of the cinque ports, and of the corporation of the town and port of New Romney; another part is within the level of Romney Marsh, and the liberty and jurisdiction of the justices of it; and the residue is within the level of Walland Marsh, and the jurisdiction of the justices of the county.

THE TOWN of New Romney is supposed to owe its origin to the decay of the antient port and haven of Old Romney, which being rendered useless by the withdrawing of the sea from it, that of New Romney became frequented in its stead, and being esteemed a large and commodious harbour for shipping, and the town adjoining to it increasing to a considerable size, and being well filled with inhabitants, it gained the privilege of being one of the cinque ports, and had annexed as members to it Lid, Old Romney, Dengemarsh, and Oswardestone, and that part of the parish of Promhill within this county, with which jointly it was bound to provide five ships, with twenty one men and one boy to each of them. After the battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror, on his march to Dover castle, passed this town, where he is said to have revenged himself on the inhabitants, for having killed some of his men, who by mistake had landed here. (fn. 1) After which this haven seems to have been in danger of ruin; and king Henry III. being informed of its danger of being destroyed, by stoppage from the river at Newenden, directed Nicholas de Handloe to re pair hither in person, with the sheriff of Kent and twenty four knights and lawful men, to examine into it. And among the patent rolls in the tower is one, in consequence of it, for the new making of this port. In this state New Romney, in all probability continued till king Edward I.'s reign, when the river Limen, or Rother, as it was afterwards called, being forced from its old channel hither, by a violent tempest, which destroyed likewise part of the town and several villages near it, and the sea at the same time retiring to a still further distance from it, the haven was soon irretrievably choaked up by the beach and became dry land, and the town itself never regained its former consequence; yet in the regin of king Edward the Confessor, it seems to have been of considerable note; for at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in the 15th year of the Conqueror's reign, which was little more than fourteen years from king Edward's death, it appears by the following mention of it, that there were in it eighty-five burgesses, which belonged to the archbishop's manor of Aldington.

In Romenel there are four times twenty and five burgesses, which belonged to the archbishop's manor of Aldington, and were, and now are worth to the lord sixpounds.

Besides which, Robert de Romenel, who held the manor of Lamport of the archbishop by knight's service, had twenty one burgesses here, which belonged to that manor, and fifty which he held of the bishop of Baieux, as may be seen by the following entries in the same record:

To this manor (viz. Lamport) belong twenty-one burgesses, which are in Romenel, of whom the archbishop has three forfeitures—theft, breach of the peace, and robbery on the highway. But the king has all service from them, and they have all customs and other forfeitures for service of the sea, and they are in the king's hands .

And further, under the general title of the bishop of Baieux's possessions:

The same Robert (de Romenel) has fifty burgesses in the burgh of Romenel, and of them the king has all service, and they are quit from the service of the sea, from all custom except in three—thest, breach of the peace, and forstel .

In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was forty shillings, now fifty shillings. Alsi held it of earl Godwin .

Robert de Romenel certainly took his name from his possessions in this place. He is mentioned several times in the record of Domesday. Albritha de Rumenel, in the reign of king John, was marshal of the king's birds by inheritance, and married William de Iarpenvile; their daughter and heir Alice, married Thomas Fitzbernard, to whom and their heirs for ever, on the petition of their mother, the king granted that office after her death. The latter afterwards gave to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, for her sepulture there, twelve pounds sterling of Old Rumenell and Langport, to be received of Stephen deAudintune, or whomsoever should posses the same. (fn. 2) Camden, in his Remains, says, Sir Robert de Romney, for so the name was afterwards spelt, bore for his arms, in imitation of the family of Criol, Two chevrons, and a canton, to which he added, on the latter, three leopards faces; and so late as the 1st year of king James I. Sir William Rumney, was sheriff of London, and there are some of this name still remaining. But to return, so great a number of burgesses as one hundred and fifty-six, serves to give us an idea of its antient state and populousness, and even at the time of the dreadful tempest which caused its ruin in king Edward I.'s reign, as mentioned before, it is said to have been divided into twelve wards, and to have had in it five parish churches, a priory, and an hospital for the sick. But when the river, by so tremendous a convulsion of nature, which not only destroyed men and cattle, but whole towns and villages, had been driven from its proper channel, and its antient mouth here being stopped up, had opened for itself a nearer passage into the sea by Rye, then the sea began to withdraw itself from this town, which afterwards decayed apace, insomuch, that in king Henry VIII.'s reign the sea was two miles distant from it, and there was only one parish church remaining, and that scarce well maintained. Leland, who wrote his Itinerary in that reign, says, "Rumeney is one of the v portes, and hath bene a netely good haven, yn so much that withyn remembrance of men shyppes have cum hard up to the towne and cast ancres yn one of the church yardes. The se ys now a ii myles fro the towne so sore therby now decayed that where ther wher iii great paroches and chirches sumtyme, is now scant one wel mayteined."

There were certainly four other parish churches besides the present one of St. Nicholas, as will be further mentioned hereafter, to which, on the decay of the others about the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, the parishes belonging to them were, united and made one parish, as at this time. The town stands rather higher than the neighbouring country, on a soil of gravel and sand. There are about one hundred houses in it, which are mostly modern, neatly built of brick, and sashed, and about five hundred inhabitants. It consists principally of one very wide street, well paved, running the whole length of it, and a cross street, in that part of which leading to the church stands the hall, or brotherhood-house, where the mayor, jurats, and commons of the cinque ports and two antient towns usually keep their court, called a brotherhood, of late newly built in a handsome manner, but not large enough to hold the several members to sit there with them in their court, called a guestling, which is therefore kept in the church, usually on the Tuesday after the feast of St. Margaret, being the 20th of July. In the midst of the high-street is the market-place, a neat modern building, the market being kept here weekly on a Saturday; and there is a fair held yearly on the feast of St. Laurence, now, by the alteration of the stile, on August 21. There is an establishment of the customs here, under the out-port of Dover. On the east side of the town is a large common, of about three quarters of a mile in length, called Romney Warren, belonging to the corporation, the soil of which is a deep sand, and the surface of it exceedingly uneven, and thrown up in that form, as to induce us to believe the whole of it was once covered at times by the sea, and then deserted by that inconstant element. It consists of four hundred acres of land. The rest of the grounds round the town are an entire flat of marshes, very fertile; and those on the south side especialy, have a plain appearance of having been left by the sea, and since inclosed and made pasture ground of.

THE CINQUE PORTS were in very early times enfranchised with divers privileges and customs, though of what antiquity they were, or when enfranchised, has not as yet been with any certainty discovered; and therefore; they are held to enjoy all their earliest liberties and privileges as, time out of mind, by prescription, and these were confirmed to them and their members by magna charta, by the stile of, barons of the cinque ports; and again by one general charter of king Edward I. which by inspeximus received confirmation, and sometimes additions from most of the succeeding kings and queens of this realm. New Romney being one of the cinque ports, became thus a corporation by prescription, and in Edward III.'s time was incorporated, by the stile of barons of the town and port of New Romeny; afterwards by that of jurats and commonaltie of the town and port of New Romney; and lastly, by queen Elizabeth, who by her letters patent, in her 5th year, anno 1562, again incorporated this town, by the stile of the mayor, jurats, and commonaltie of the town and port of New Romney, and she by the same letters patent ratified all the privileges which they had enjoyed in the reign of king Edward the Confessor, or any other since. And likewise granted to them the soil of the river Rother, from the entrance of its haven here to Redhill beyond Apledore. The members mentioned in this charter, being a mayor, five jurats, and twentysix freemen, or commoners. But the charters of this corporation, as well as those of the other cinque ports, were in 1685, by the king's command, surrendered up to Colonel Strode, then governor of Dover castle, and were never returned again. By the above-mentioned charter of queen Elizabeth, the corporation is governed at this time. It consists at present of a mayor, ten jurats, (the mayor being one) and fifteen commoners or freemen, together with a chamberlain, recorder, and town clerk. The mayor, who is coroner by virtue of his office, is chosen on Lady-day, March 25th, yearly, and together with the jurats, who are justices within this liberty exclusive of all others, hold a court of general sessions of the peace and gaol delivery, together with a court of the record, the same as at Dover; and it has other privileges, mostly the same as the other corporations within the liberties of the cinque ports. It has the privilege of two maces. The arms of this town and port are, Azure, three lions passant-guardant, in pale, or.

The cinque ports, as well as their two antient towns of Rye and Winchelsea, have each of them the privilege of returning members, usually stiled barons, to parliament; the first returns of which, that are mentioned for any of them, are in the 42d year of king Edward III.

The following is A LIST of the Baronswhich have been returned to parliament for the port of New Romney, from the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign.


Years of the Reign, &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.
1st. At Westminster. John Cheseman, William Eppes.
5th. — Christopher Allen, William Eppes.
13th. — William Eppes, senior, Edward Morante.
14th. — William Wilcocks, gent. (fn. 3) Edward Wilcocks, gent.
27th. — Richard Williams, gent. William Southland, gent.
28th. — William Southland, gent. Robert Thursbarne, gent.
31st. — William Southland, gent. Reginald Scot, esq.
35th. — John Winge, gent. Robert Bawle, gent.
39th. — George Coppyn, esq. James Thurbarne.
43d. — Thomas Lake, esq. John Mingey, gent.


1st. — Sir Robert Remington, John Plomer, gent.
12th. — Sir William Budden, George Newman, LL. D.
Year of the Reign, &c. Name of the Barons in Parliament.
18th. At Westminster. Peter Manwood, K. B. Francis Fetherstone, esq.
21st. — Fr. Fetherstone Haugh, esq. Richard Godfrey, gent.


1st. — Sir Edmund Verney, Richard Godfrey, esq.
1st. — Richard Godfrey, Thomas Brett, esqrs.
3d. — Thomas Godfrey, Thomas Brett, esqrs.
5th, — Thomas Godfrey, William Steel, esqrs.
16th. — Norton Knatchbull, (fn. 4) Richard Brown, esqrs.


12th. — Norton Knatchbull, bart. John Knatchbull, esq.
13th. — 1661. Norton Knatchbull, bart. Sir Charles Berkeley, jun. (fn. 5)
31st. — 1678. Charles Sedley, bart. Paul Barret, esq.
32d. At Oxford, 1679 The same.


Year of the Reign &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.
1st. At Westminster, 1685. Sir William Goulston, Benjamin Bathurst. (fn. 6)


1st. — 1688. John Brewer, James Chadwick, esqrs.
2d. — 1690. Charles Sedley, bart. (fn. 7) John Brewer, esq.


7th — 1695. John Brewer, esq. Charles Sedley, bart. (fn. 8)
10th. — 1698. Charles Sedley, bart. John Brewer, esq.
12th. — 1700. The same.
13th. — 1701. John Brewer, Edward Goulston, esqrs.


1st. — 1702. Sir Benjamin Bathurst, (fn. 9) John Brewer, esq.
4th. — 1705. Walter Whitfield, John Brewer, esqrs.
Years of the Reign, &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.
7th. — 1708. John Brewer, (fn. 10) Walter Whitfield, esqrs.
9th. — 1710. Walter Whitfield, (fn. 11) Robert Furnese, esqrs.
12th. — 1713. Hon. Edward Watson, Robert Furnese, bart.


1st. — 1714. Edward, lord Sondes, Sir Robert Furnese, bart.
7th. — 1722. Sir Robert Furnese, bart. David Papillon, esq.


1st. — 1727. David Papillon, John Essington, esqrs. (fn. 12)
7th. — 1734. David Papillon, (fn. 13) Stephen Bisse, esqrs.
14th. — 1741. Sir Francis Dashwood, bart. Henry Furnese, esq.
21st. — 1747. The same.
28th. — 1754. Sir Francis Dashwood, bart. Henry Furnese, esq. (fn. 14)
Your of the Reign, &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.
1st. At Westminster, 1761. Edward Dering, Thomas Knight, esqrs.
7th. — 1768. Sir Edward Dering, bart. (fn. 15) Richard Jackson, esq.
14th. — 1774. Sir Edward Dering, bart. Richard Jackson, esq.
20th. — 1784. Sir Edward Dering, bart. Richard Jackson, esq. (fn. 16)
24th. — 1784. Sir Edward Dering, bart. (fn. 17) John Smith, esq. (fn. 18)
30th. — 1790. Sir Elijah Impey, Richard Joseph Sullivan, esq.
36th. — 1796. John Fordice, esq. John Willett Willett, esq.

The right of election is in the mayor, jurats, and freemen, in all twenty five.

HENRY, youngest son of Robert Sidney, the second earl of Leicester, having been in 1689, anno I William and Mary, created baron of Milton, and viscount Sidney of the isle of Shepey, was in 1694, created earl of Romney , being lord lieutenant of this county, lord warden of the cinque ports, and constable of Dover castle, but dying unmarried in 1704, his titles became extinct.

Sir Robert Marsham, of Cookstone, and afterwards of the Mote, in Maidstone, bart. was by letters patent, dated June 25, 1716, anno 2 George I. created lord Romney, baron of Romney . He died in 1724, whose grandson the right hon. Charles, now lord Romney, is lord-lieutenant and custos rotulorum of this county, of whom and his family, a full account has already been given in the former part of thesevolumes. (fn. 19)

Among other scarce plants found in this parish is the Urtica Romana, or common Roman nettle. (fn. 20)

There was A PRIORY here, which was a cell to the foreign abbey of Pontiniac; for the church of St. Nicholas of New Romney having, with others in this county, been given and appropriated to it, the abbot and convent there founded a house, or conventual cell in this parish, to which they sent over a few monks, with a prior at their head, who were removable at pleasure, and were little more than stewards to their superior abbey, to which they returned the revenues of their possessions annually. On which account, during the wars between England and France, as their revenues went to support. the king's enemies, these kind of cells were generally seized on by the king, and restored again upon the return of peace. In which state this priory continued till the general dissolution of the alien priories, in the 2d year of king Henry V. when all their houses and possessions were given to the king and his heirs for ever. But king Henry VI. in his 17th year, on the foundation of All Souls college, in Oxford, granted this priory, with the church of St. Nicholas of New Romney, at the request of archbishop Chicheley, to that college. How it became alienated from thence, I cannot learn; but it has been for a long time so, and some years ago passed from the family of Baker to that of Coates, in which it still continues. There are but small remains of it left.

ADAM DE CHERRYNG founded an Hospital in this parish for leprous persons, in honour of St. Stephen and St. Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, about the end of king Henry II.'s reign, and he endowed it sufficiently for that purpose, and for the maintenance of one priest, to celebrate divine service in it. But this hospital being forsaken and decayed, John, son of Robert Frauncys, of Romenale, the patron of it, in the 37th year of king Edward III. anno 1363, re-established it, almost in the nature of a chantry, for two priests to celebrate divine service in it, of which one should be master or keeper of it, to be presented by the patron of it, and in default by the jurats of Romenale, or the major part of them, to the archbishop, to be instituted and inducted into it. (fn. 21) But at the latter end of Edward IV.'s reign, it seems to have been suppressed, and is said to have been granted in the 22d year of it, anno 1481, to St. Mary Magdalen college in Oxford, but it has been long since private property, and a few years, ago belonged to Mr. Freebody Dray, of Lid, of Whose heirs it was purchased by Mr. William Harman, of New Romney, whose widow is the present owner of it. Part of it is still standing at the east end of the town.

There was a house, called St. John's house, for the use of the poor in St. Laurence parish, in New Romney, as appears by the will of John Mores, of St. Nicholas, in this town, anno 4 Edward IV. the same being then dissolved, and become his property.


MARGREAT, daughter of James Boyes, late wife of William Swan, of St. Nicholas in New Romney, by her will anno 1502, gave every year perpetual, a thousand billets, against Christmas, to be delivered among poor people. to be paid out of her principal messuage, in which the then dwelt, by the possessors of it for ever.

ADRIAN MARDEN, of the town and port of New Romney. by his will in 1554, devised his smiths shop or forge, with the garden adjoining, to the use and intent that there should yearly for ever, be distributed among the poor people of the town, in the presence of the bailiffs, jurats, and churchwardens, the yearly rent of the premises, the reparations thereof being first deducted; and in default of such distribution, or reparation, then he gave the premises to the bailiffs, &c. their successors and assigns, for ever, for the like intent and uses.

ROBERT DODD, of Lid, by his will in 1570, gave his barn and lands in the town of New Romney, to be by the mayor and three of the jurats put to farm yearly for ever, the money thereof to be bestowed upon the reparations of the church of New Romney.

JOHN SOUTHLAND, gent. of New Romney, by his will in 1610, gave all his houses, lands, and tenements, to his executor Thomas Broadnax, of Godmersham, his son-in-law, upon condition that he should make over by due course of law, to remain and continue for ever, the house wherein his schoolmaster then dwelt, and all his houses and lands in the parishes of Harrietsham, Ulcombe, and Smarden, to the only use of a schoolmaster, and the relief of two couple of poor folk, and the said houses and lands his said executor should make a body politique and incorporate, for ever to endure, for their maintenance; the schoolmaster to pay out of those lands to the poor folk, 5l. by half-yearly payments clearly, and to the churchwardens of St. Nicholas, in New Romney, 5l. by like half-yearly payments to the reparations of the church for ever; and he ordered that the schoolmaster should keep the reparations of the houses and the closures, and should teach from time to time two poor children to write and read the English tongue, and cast accoumpt, until they should come to the age of 14 years clearly; and that the poor folk and poor children should be placed and displaced by the mayor from time to time; the schoolmaster to be a scholar of Oxford or Cambridge, sufficient to teach the Latin tougue as well as the English.

This hospital and school-house is situated in St. Nicholas. and is made use of for the residence of the schoolmaster, now called the governor, and the four poor folk. It was incorporated anno 30 Elizabeth. The estates left for the support of it consist of 30 acres of land and 18 acres of wood in Smarden, and one tenement with 51 acres of land in Harrietsham, and one other tenement and 12 acres of land in Ulcombe. The Rev. William Wing Fowle, A. M. of New Romney, is now governor or schoolmaster of it.

THOMAS BAKER, by his will in 1728, gave for the benefit of the four poor persons living in Southlands hospital, to be paid half yearly for ever, the rents of 20 acres of land in Ivychurch, now of the annual product of 25l. which is given away by the mayor and jurats. Likewise 5l. per annum, being part of an annuity of IIl. per annum, out of lands formerly belonging to Epps, but now of the widow Coates, lying in Old and New Romney and Midley, to be given yearly on the 14th day of October, for the benefit of poor persons, so estimated by the mayor and jurats; the same being annually distributed by the mayor of New Romney for the time being.

The poor constantly maintained are about fifty-four.

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

The church, which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon, is dedicated to St. Nicholas the bishop. It is very large and handsome, consisting of three isles and three chancels, having a square tower, with four pinnacles on it, at the west end, in which hang eight bells. The church is antient, the pillars between the isles being very large, with circular arches and Saxon ornaments. The tower at the west end seems still more so, having several ranges of small circular arches on the sides, and at the bottom is a circular arch, over a door-way, with zig-zag ornaments. The stone pinnacles on the top are of unequal sizes. On the roof is a stone work, of an octagon form, carried up a few feet only, seemingly for the purpose of continuing a spire of the same form on it. The inside of the church is fitted up exceedingly handsome and elegant. In the middle chancel, on the wainscot, on one side, are painted the arms of Furnese, with the hand of Ulster, impaling Broughe, and underneath Sir Henry Furnese beautified this chancel at his cost, and made the mayor and jurats seats, 1712. On the other side are the arms of Furnese impaling Balam, and underneath, Sir Robert Furnese, bart. combaron, completed the work of this chancel, begun by his fa ther Sir Henry Furnese, in 1713. Throughout the church and chancels are numerous monuments and memorials, mostly for those who have been mayors and jurats of the town, and their families, among which are those of Wilcocke, Martin, Wightwick, Mascall, Coates, Hassenden, Brett, Bassett, Pix, Baker, Cobbe, and Bachelor. In the middle chancel is a memorial for Arthur Kight, A. M. rector and vicar of Newchurch, obt. March 18, 1765. In the south chancel, a memorial for Joseph Philpot, gent. son of Joseph Philpot, of Worde, obt. 1768. A monument in the south chancel for Thomas Lancaster, obt. 1728, arms, Lancaster, argent, two bars, gules, on a canton of the second, a lion passant of the first . A like monument for Isaac Warguin, M. D. born in France, who fled from persecution to New Romney in 1689, where he practised physic, obt. 1725. In the north chancel is a fine tomb of Bethersden marble, with the figures in brass of a man and woman, and behind her of one daughter, for Thomas Smith, jurat, obt. 1610. A tomb of black marble for Thomas Tookey, gent. jurat, and once mayor and bailiff of Yarmouth, obt. 1653, arms at the east end, Tookey, a chevron engrailed, between three estoiles of six points , impaling ermine, on a chief dancette, three crowns . A stone, with a figure in brass, for Thomas Lambarde, of Romene, obt. 1514. Several memorials for the Tookeys. A memorial for Edward Goulstone, esq. sixth son of John, of Widdall, in Hertfordshire, esq. prothonotary of the king's bench, who married Joane, daughter and heir of Thomas Tookey, gent. of Romney; she afterwards married Mr. John Goulstone, late of Tutsham hall, who lies buried here. He died leaving Edward Goulstone, of Tutsham-hall, arms, Goulstone, two bars nebule, over them, on a bend, three balls . In the north isle, several memorials for the Normans, arms, A lion rampant; and for the Durants, arms, Argent, on a cross, gules, five fleurs de lis, or. A stone, with an inscription in brass, the figure gone, for William Holyngbroke, obt. 1375, arms, A chevron, between three estoiles; and several memorials for the Wilsons.

When this town was in its most flourishing state, there were four other parish churches in it besides the present one of St. Nicholas, named St. Laurence, St. Martin, St. John, and St. Michael, all which there is frequent mention of in the several wills in the Prerogative-office, Canterbury. The last of them I find mentioned in wills in the beginning of Henry VIII.'s reign, and the three former as late as the 25th year of it, but before the end of that reign they seem to have been all disused, and the present one of St. Nicholas to have been the only one in use, and to have been accounted the only parochial church of this town and parish of New Romney. Besides the church-yard adjoining to St. Nicholas's church, there are five others belonging to it, viz. that of St. Laurence, in Mr. Russell's land, and of St. Michael in the Hardres land, both near Old Romney; of St. John, St. Martin, and another of St. Laurence converted into a garden, all three in the town of New Romney. All which are now part of the glebe belonging to the vicar of New Romney. The church of St. Nicholas seems to have had some pre-eminence over the others; for though mention is made in the several wills in the Prerogative-office, in Canterbury, of the other churches, their church-yards, and the parish priests and curates of them, yet the several vicars of this church are always stiled in them, from the year 1458 downwards, vicars of New Romney, without any other distinction.

The church of St. Nicholas, of New Romney, was antiently part of the possessions of the abbot and convent of Pontiniac, in France, who had a cell or priory here, to which abbey this church was appropriated before the 8th year of king Richard II. anno 1384, at which time the church appropriate was valued at twenty pounds perannum, and the vicarage, among the small benefices not taxed to the tenth, at four pounds. On the suppression of the above abbey, among the rest of the alien priories, in the 2d year of Henry V. anno 1414, this church, with the advowson of the vicarage, came into the hands of the crown, where it remained till Henry VI. on the petition of archbishop Chicheley, in his 17th year, settled it on the warden and fellows of All Souls college, in Oxford, with whom the parsonage appropriate, and the advowson of the vicarage, still remain.

It appears by the valuation in the king's books, taken anno 26 Henry VIII. that the several parishes before-mentioned in this town, had been before then united to the mother church of St. Nicholas, which was at that time the only parish in it, and that the churches of St. Martin and St. Laurence were accounted but as chapels of ease to it. The vicarage of St. Nicholas, with those chapels, is valued in them at 6l. 16s. 3d. and the yearly tenths at 13s. 7½d. In 1588 it was valued at ninety pounds, communicants three hundred and sixty-one. In 1640, at 105l. the like number of communicants The parsonage is usually demised by the college of All Souls to the vicar for the time being, at the yearly rent of seven pounds, which is nearly the full annual produce of it. There are seven acres of glebe land.

The vicarage of New Romney was endowed by archbishop Arundel, in 1402, and a competent portion assigned to the vicar for his maintenance.

There were formerly continual controversies between the vicars of New Romney and their parishioners, concerning the payment of tithes in kind, and especially for setting aside the custom for the payment of two-pence an acre in money, in lieu of tithe-wool and pasturage in kind, other tithes being paid by composition at such rates as could be agreed on; and two suits were commenced in particular, by Knight, vicar, against Brett and Clark, on the same custom, the former in 1637, and the latter in 1640, at the king's bench bar. In the first of which, the jury gave their verdict against the vicar, and in the latter he was nonsuited; but the custom in the latter trial was so plainly proved, that it has been uniformly acquiesced in by the vicars to the present time.

Church of New Romney.

Or by whom presented.
Henry Stafford, in 1586, obt. 1606. (fn. 22)
Richard Ingram, M. A. ind. July 1606.
Peter Knight, in 1626 and 1640.
Robert Bostock, A. M. ind. Sept. 1662, obt. 1680.
John Thomas, A. M. ind. June 1680, obt. 1709.
Richard Bowes, S. T. P. July 1709, obt. April 1745. (fn. 23)
Francis Baker, LL. D. October 1745, obt. 1749.
Richard Jacob, A. M. 1749, obt. Dec. 1762. (fn. 24)
John White, S. T. P. January, 1763, resigned 1774.
Salisbury Price, S. T. P. Dec. 1774, resigned 1775.
William Rugg, A. M. August, 1775, resigned 1777.
Edmund Isham, A. M. Feb. 1777, resigned Dec. 1780.
Peter Rashleigh, A. M. February 1781, resigned the same year. (fn. 25)
Seymour Love, A. M. Oct. 1781, obt. 1797.
Edward Pole, 1797, the present vicar.


  • 1. See W. Pictavensis, p. 204.
  • 2. Regist. Abb. Sci Ang. cart. 368, 370.
  • 3. On his decease William Eppes, gent. was chosen.
  • 4. Journals of the House of Commons. New writ for election in the room of Mr. Warwick, who chose to serve for Radnor, and waved Romney. New writ in the room of Mr. Webbe, disabled to serve.
  • 5. Journals, vol. ix. anno 1668. New wirt in the room of Mr. Brunkard, expelled for contempt of the House.
  • 6. He made his option in parliament for Beeralston, and Tho. Chudleigh, esq. was chosen in his room.
  • 7. He made his option in parliament for another place, and William Frewin, esq. was chosen in his room.
  • 8. He made his choice for Appleby, upon which Sir William Twysden, bart. was chosen in his room. Sir William Twysden in 1696 was chosen for Appleby, and Sir Charles Sedley, bart. was chosen here in his room.
  • 9. On his death in 1704, Walter Whitfield, esq. was chosen.
  • 10. Journals, vol. xv. 1707. New writ, he having accepted a place.
  • 11. On his death in 1713, the Hon. Edward Watson was chosen.
  • 12. Journals, vol. xxi. On a petition Sir Robert Austen, and Sir Robert Furnese, barts. were declared duly elected, and the return was amended, and on the latter being chosen for the county of Kent, David Papillon, esq above-mentioned, was chosen in his room.
  • 13. He was elected for Dover in 1735, and Sir Robert Austen, bart. was chosen in his room for Romney.
  • 14. New writ in 1755, on his being made treasurer of the exchequer, and he was re-elected. On his death next year Rose Fuller, esq. was chosen in his room.
  • 15. He accepted the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds in 1770, and John Morton, esq. was chosen in his room.
  • 16. He was afterwards made a lord of the treasury, and was rechosen in 1782.
  • 17. He in 1787 accepted the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, and Richard-Joseph Sullivan, esq. was chosen in his room.
  • 18. He accepted the same office in 1784, and Richard Arkinson, esq. was chosen in his room, on whose death in 1785 John Henniker, esq. was chosen in his room.
  • 19. See vol. iii p. 393, and vol. iv. p. 294.
  • 20. Raii Synopsis, p. 140. See likewise Merrett's Pinax, p. 17.
  • 21. See Dugd. Mon. vol. ii. p. 405.
  • 22. In 1589 he certified, that this vicarage did not exceed the value of 6l. 16s. 2d. per annum, and had the archbishop's mandate that year, for the consolidating the rectory of Hope with this vicarage during his incumbency of them, which was confirmed by the crown. See Hope before.
  • 23. Likewise rector of Easling.
  • 24. And vicar of East Malling by dispensation.
  • 25. Likewise rector of Woldham, and resigned this vicarage on being presented to the rectory of Barking, in Essex.