The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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LIES the next parish south-eastward from Stodmarsh, taking its name from its situation close to the stream which bounds the eastern part of it, and at the same time to distinguish it from the other parishes of the name of Borne in the near neighbourhood of it.
There is but one borough in this parish, called the borough of Littleborne.
Littleborne extends to the skirt of the beautiful and healthy parts of East Kent, and verging farther from the large levels of marsh land which lie near the Stour, quits that gloomy aspect of ill health so prevalent near them, and here begins to assume one more cheerful, pleasant and healthy; and Twyne tells us, (fn. 1) that it was allotted by the abbot and convent of St. Augustine's, who possessed the manor, for the plantation of vines. The village is built on the high road leading from Canterbury to Sandwich and Deal, at the eastern boundary of the parish, adjoinining to the Little Stour, and consists of about forty houses. The church stands at a small distance from it, having the courtlodge close to it, with the parsonage at a small distance. This parish extends northward as far as the Stour, opposite to Westbere, in which part of it however, there is but a small quantity of marsh-land, near which is an estate called Higham, which antiently was owned by a family of that name. Above the hill, south-eastward from hence, there is a great deal of woodland, and among it a tract of heathy rough land, belonging to the archbishop, called Fishpool-downs, through which the road leads to Wickham. At the bottom of Fishpool hill is the valley called the Ponds, now entirely covered with wood, part of which is in this parish. The ponds were supplied from a spring called Arrianes well, probably for Adrian's well, and were of a considerable size and depth, made for the supply of the convent of St. Augustine, the owners of them, with fish for their refectory, the sides of them now equally thick with coppice wood, were antiently a vineyard. These woods continue from hence adjoining the high road towards the village in great quantities, much of which belongs to the archbishop, and are intermixed with a great deal of rough bushy ground. The lands in this parish are in general very poor and gravelly, but towards Wickham they are much more fertile both for corn and hops, of which there are several plantations. This parish extends across the river eastward towards the hill, and takes in great part of Lower Garwinton, and part of the house, and some little land of Upper Garwinton within it, which is entirely separated from the rest of it by the parish of Adisham intervening.
Polygonatum scalacæci, Solomon's seal; grows plentifully on Fishpool-hill in this parish.
A fair is held here on the 5th of July, for toys and pedlary.
In the year 690, Widred, king of Kent, gave to the monastery of St. Augustine, in pure and perpetual alms, five plough-lands called Litleborne, on condition of their remembring of him in their prayers and solemn masses. And in the year 1047, king Edward the Consessor gave another plough-land here, which consisted of the estates of Bourne, Dene, and Wiliyington, to archbishop Eadsin, free from all service, except. the trinoda necessitas, and he bestowed it on that monastery. After which the manor of Little borne continued in the possession of the abbey to the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in which it is thus entered under the general title of the land of the church of St. Augustine:
In Dunamesfort hundred, the abbot himself holds, Liteburne, which is taxed at seven sulings. The arable land is twelve carucates. In demesne there are three carucates, and thirty-five villeins, with fourteen cottagers having six and an half. There is a church, and thirtyeight acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of four hogs. In the time of king Edward the Consessor it was worth twenty-five pounds, afterwards twenty pounds, now thirty-two pounds. Of this manor the bishop of Baieux has in his park, as much as is worth sixty shillings.
After this the abbot and convent's possessions here were increased by several gifts and purchases of different parcels of land. (fn. 2)
King Henry III. in his 54th year, granted to the abbot and convent free-warren in all their demesne lands of Littleborne, among others. In the 7th year of king Edward II.'s reign, anno 1313, in the iter of H. de Stanton and his sociates, justices itinerant, the abbot, upon a quo warranto, claimed and was allowed in this manor among others, free warren in all his demesne lands of it, and view of frank-pledge, and other liberties therein-mentioned, in like manner as has been already mentioned before, in the description of the manors of Sturry and Stodmarsh. (fn. 3) By a register of the monastery of about this time, it appears, that this manor had then in demesne the park of Trendesle. In the 10th year of king Edward III. Solomon de Ripple being custos, or bailiff of this manor, made many improvements here, and purchased more lands in it, all the buildings of it being in a manner wholly re-built and raised from the ground, with much cost, by him. In king Richard II.'s reign, the abbot's manor of Littleborne was valued at 23l. 8s. 6d. the admeasurement of the lands being 505 acres. After which this manor continued with the monastery till its dissolution, anno 30 Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, and remained in the crown till king Edward VI. in his 1st year, granted the manor and manor-house, with all lands and appurtenances, and a water-mill lately belonging to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, to the archbishop, among other premises, in exchange for the manor of Mayfield, &c. parcel of the possessions of whose see it still remains, the archbishop being the present owner of it. The manor, with the profits of courts, royalties, &c. the archbishop keeps in his own hands; but the demesnes have been from time to time demised on a beneficial lease. The family of Denne have been for more than a century lessees of it, who now reside in the court-lodge.
On the abolition of episcopacy, after the death of king Charles I. this manor was sold by the state to Sir John Roberts and John Cogan, the latter of whom, by his will in 1657, gave his moiety of it to the mayor and aldermen of Canterbury, for the benefit of six poor ministers widows (for whose use he had at the same time demised his dwelling-house in Canterbury, now called Cogan's hospital. But the manor of Littleborne, on the restoration in 1660, returned again to the see of Canterbury.
The manor of Wolton, alias Walton, lies in the southern part of this parish, adjoining to the precinct of Well, and was antiently possessed by a family who took their name from it, one of whom, John, son of John de Wolton, held it at the latter end of king Henry III.'s reign. But this family became extinct here before the reign of king Edward III. in the 20th year of which, Roger de Garwinton held it by knight's service, (fn. 4) in whose descendants it continued till it passed into the family of Petit, of Shalmsford, who held it of the abbot of St. Augustine's by the like service, in which name and family it continued till it was at length alienated to Sir Henry Palmer, of Bekesborne, whose descendant of the same name passed it away by sale to Sir Robert Hales, of Bekesborne, in whose descendants it continued down to Sir Philip Hales, bart. of Howlets, who in 1787 alienated this manor to Isaac Baugh, esq. of Well, the present owner of it.
Wingate, alias Lower Garwington, in a manor, which lies on the other or eastern side of the river, adjoining to Ickham, taking the former of those names from a family, who were owners of it in Henry III.'s reign, and held it by knight's service of the abbot and convent of St. Augustine. In which reign Simon de Wingate held it as above-mentioned, but before the 20th year of King Edward III. this name was extinct here, and Thomas de Garwinton then held this estate, lying in Wingate, held of the abbot by the like tenure. (fn. 5) In the descendants of Thomas de Garwington, who resided at their mansion and manor, since called Upper Garwinton, adjoining to it, seems to have continued some time, and from them, as well as to distinguish it from that, to have taken the name of Wingate, alias Lower Garwinton. After this family had quitted the possession of it, the Clyffords appear from different records to have become owners of it, and after them the Sandfords, and it appears by the escheat rolls, that Humphrey Sandford died possessed of it in the 14th year of king Henry VII. and that Thomas Sandford was his son and heir. After which it came into the hands of the crown, for king Henry VIII. in his 30th year, granted the manors of Wingate and Garwinton to Sir Christopher Hales, then master of the rolls. He left three daughters his coheirs, who became jointly, entitled to it, and on the division of their estates it was allotted to the youngest daughter Mary, who entitled her husband Alexander Colepeper, esq. to it, in which name it continued till the 22d of queen Elizabeth, when it was passed away by sale to Thomas Fane, esq. whose son Francis, earl of Westmoreland, sold it to William Prude, alias Proude, esq. who being a lieutenant-colonel in the army, was slain at the siege of Maestricht in 1632, having devised this estate in tail male to his eldest surviving son Serles Prude, who died in 1642, leaving only two daughters his coheirs, upon which it came to his next brother William, who left an only daughter Dorothy, and she, the entail being barred, carried it first in marriage to Nethersole, by whom she had no issue, and secondly to Christopher May, esq. of Rawmere, in Suffex, whose only daughter and heir Anne, entitled her husband William Broadnax, esq. of Godmersham, to the possession of it. His son Thomas Changed his name, first to May and then to Knight, and died possessed of this manor in 1781, leaving an only son Thomas Knight, esq. of Godmersham, who in the year 1785 exchanged it for other lands in Crundal with Thomas Barret, esq. of Lee, the present owner of it.
Upper Garwinton is a manor, which lies adjoining to that last-described, southward, at the boundary of this parish, next to Adisham, in which parish part of the mansion of it stands, being written in the survery of Domesday, Warwintone, one of the many instances in that book of the mistakes of the Norman scribes. It was, after the conquest, parcel of those possessions with which the Conqueror enriched his half-brother Odo, the great bishop of Baieux and earl of Kent, and was exchanged by him for other lands with the abbot of St. Augustine's, accordingly it is thus entered in that record, under the general title of the land of the church of St. Augustine:
The abbot himself holds Warwintone, and the bishop of Baieux gave it to him in exchange of his park. It was taxed at half a suling and forty-two acres of land. The arable land is one carucate, and there is in demesne, with three cottagers, and sixteen acres of meadow. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth four pounds, and afterwards forty shillings, now four pounds. This manor Edric de Sbern Biga held, and now Radulf holds it of the abbot.
Whether this description extended to the last-described manor of Wingate, is uncertain, though most probably, as both were held of the abbot by knight's service, it was comprehended in it. However that may be, this manor of Garwintone, called as above, erroneously, in Domesday, Warwintone, was held of the abbot by a family who took their surname from it; one of whom, Richard de Garwynton, resided here at the latter end of king Henry II.'s reign, and had a chapel at his mansion here; and in 1194, the abbot granted to him and his heirs, to have the divine office celebrated for three days in a week in this chapel by the priest of Littleborne. (fn. 6) His descendant Thomas Garwinton was possessed of this manor and several other estates in this part of the county, in the 20th year of king Edward III. whose great-grandson William Garwynton dying S. P. Joane his kinswoman, married to Richard Haut, was anno II Henry IV. found to be his heir not only to this manor, but to much other lands in these parts, and their son Richard Haut having an only daughter and heir Margery, she carried this manor in marriage to William Isaac, esq. of Patrixborne, whose descendant Edward Isaac, at his death, gave this manor to his two daughter by his second wife, viz. Mary, married to Thomas Appleton, esq. of Suffolk, and Margaret, to John Jermye, second son of Sir John Jermye, of the same county, and they seem to have shared this manor between them. Thomas Appleton sold his share afterwards to Anthony Parker, who with Isaac Jermye, eldest son of John above-mentioned, joined in the sale of the entire see of it to Sir Henry Palmer, of Howlets, and he by his will in 1611, devised it to his nephew John Goodwyn, whose heirs some time afterwards passed it away by sale to George Curteis, esq. afterwards knighted, and of Otterden, and he alienated it to Sir Robert Hales, of Bekesborne, in whose descendants it continued down to Sir Philip Hales, bart. of Howlets, who in 1787, passed it away by sale to Isaac Baugh, esq. the present owner of it.
John Dorrante, of Bekesborne, yeoman, in 1560, gave by will, to discharge the poor from the assessments of the church, the overplus to be paid to the most antient poor of the parish, the sum of 3s, 6d. on Palm Sunday and the Monday before Penticost; and 21s. 6d. on Christmas-day yearly, out of the house and lands called Church-house, now vested in Mr. Peter Inge.
Henry Sloyden, of Wickhambreaux, in 1568, gave by will to the poor of this parish and of Wickham, six acres and a half of land, called Church-close, to be divided between them yearly, now of the annual produce of 3l. 9s. 9d.
Sir Henry Palmer, by his will in 1611, gave 10s. to be paid yearly out of his manor of Welle, for the use of the poor.
James Franklyn, by will in 1616, gave to the parishes of Littleborne, Chistlet, and Hoathe, in Reculver, 5l. each, to be employed in a stock for the poor. This 5l. is now increased to 11l. this interest of which being 8s. 93frac34;d. is distributed among the poor in general.
Valentine Norton, gent. by his will, was a benefactor to the poor; but there are no particulars further known of it.
The poor constantly relieved are about fifty, casually thirtyfive.
This parish is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Bridge.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Vincent, consists of three isles and a chancel, having at the west end a low pointed steeple, in which hang five bells. The church is kept very neat. It is a good sized building, and is handsomely ceiled. The chancel is lostly, and has four narrow lancet windows on each side, and three at the end; in the former are the remains of good painted glass, and in the latter some years ago were the seven sacraments, &c. very handsomely done, with rich borders, but they have been some few years since removed. In it is a memorial for George I'anns, curate, obt. 1699. In the middle isle are several memorials for the family of Denne, for many descents lessees of the court-lodge, and descended from those of Dennehill, in Kingston, In the south-east window of the south isle is a saint holding a shield of arms, in front, Gules, three cocks, argent, being the arms of Bunington, on the lest side a moon, on the right a sun, all very well done; and there were formerly in one of the windows, the arms of Higham, argent, a lion passant regardant, between six cross-croslets fitchee, sable, impaling Gallaway, ermine, three lozenges, gules. A few years ago the north isle fell down, when there were some curious paintings discovered, by the breaking of the plaister from the walls. This isle was immediately rebuilt. In the church-yard, at the north-west part of it, are several tombs and head stones of the family of Denne before- mentioned.
The church of Littleborne was antiently appendant to the manor, part of the possessions of the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, and continued so till the year 1224, when Robert de Bello being chosen abbot, and finding much difficulty in obtaining the pope's benediction, to facilitate it, gave this church to the monastery of St. Mary de Monte Mirteto, in Italy, to which the pope, in 1241, appropriated it. Immediately after which, this parsonage, so appropriated, was demised to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, in perpetual ferme, at the clear yearly sum of thirty marcs. (fn. 7) Four years after which, anno 1245, archbishop Stratford endowed the vicarage of it, the advowson of which was reserved to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, when he decreed, that the vicarage should be endowed with a mansion, the tithes of filva cæ dua, of hay, and in three acres of arable, one acre of meadow, and in the receipt of three marcs and an half in money from the religious yearly, and in the tithes of flax, hemp, ducks, calves, pigeons, bees, milk, milkmeats, mills, wool, pigs, and in all oblations and other small tithes belonging to the church; and that the vicar should serve the church in divine rites, and find one chaplain to celebrate weekly in the chapel of Garwyntone, and to find bread, wine, and tapers, for celebrating divine rites in the church. Which endowment was afterwards, in 1370, certified by inspeximus, by archbishop Wittlesey. In which state this church and advowson remained till the final dissolution of the abbey of St. Augustine, in the 30th year of Henry VIII. when they came into the king's hands, and the king, in his 33d year, settled both, by his dotation-charter, on his new-erected dean and chapter of Canterbury, with whom they continue at this time. The parsonage has been from time to time let on a beneficial lease, Mr. Thomas Holness being the present lessee of it, but the advowson of the vicarage the dean and chapter retain in their own hands.
The vicarage of Littleborne is valued in the king's books at 7l. 19s. 10d. but the yearly tenths taken are sixteen shillings, the sum total being erroneonsly cast up in the king's books at eight pounds. The antient pension of 3l. 17s. 4d. from the abbey of St. Augustine's, is yearly received by the vicar out of the exchequer; the demesne lands of the court-lodge pay no greattithes, and the archbishop's woods in his own occupation pay none. In 1588 here were one hundred and fifty communicants; in 1640 the same, when it was valued at thirty-five pounds. It has been augmented by the dean and chapter with fifty pounds per annum.
The chapel of Lukedale, in the precinct of Well, was once esteemed as within the bounds of this parish, of which more may be seen herefter, under Ickham, to which parish Well is now annexed.
Church Of Littleborne.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.||Christopher Cage, Sept. 8, 1610, resigned 1617.|
|Silas Hawker, A. M. Jan. 24, 1617, obt. 1652. (fn. 8)|
|Richard Langham, A. M. June 26, 1661, obt. 1675.|
|John Gostling, A. M. Feb. 8, 1675, obt. July 18, 1733. (fn. 9)|
|William Gostling, A. M. Dec. 31, 1733, resigned 1753. (fn. 10)|
|Osmxnd Beaxvoier, S. T. P. July 11, 1753, obt. 1789. (fn. 11)|
|John Benson, S. T. P. Nov. 1789, resigned 1794. (fn. 12)|
|Joseph Price, B. D. Jan. 1794, the present vicar. (fn. 13)|