The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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LIES adjoining to the last-described parish of Staple northward. It is written in Domesday, Ece, and in other antient records, Aisse, and is usually called Ash, near Sandwich, to distinguish it from Ash, near Wrotham.
The parish of Ash is very large, extending over a variety of soil and country, of hill, dale, and marsh lands, near four miles across each way, and containing more than six thousand acres of land, of which about one half is marsh, the river Stour being its northern bounday, where it is very wet and unwholesone, but the southern or upland part of the parish is very dary, pleasant and healthy. The soil in general is fertile, and lets on an average at about one pound an acre; notwithstanding, there is a part of it about Ash-street and Gilton town, where it is a deep sand. The village of Ash, commonly called Ash-street, situated in this part of it, on high ground, mostly on the western declivity of a hill, having the church on the brow of it, is built on each side of the road from Canterbury to Sandwich, and contains about fifty houses. On the south side of this road, about half a mile westward, is a Roman burial ground, of which further mention will be taken hereaster, and adjoining to it the hamlet of Gilton town, formerly written Guildanton, in which is Gilton parsonage, a neat stuccoed house, lately inhabited by Mr. Robert Legrand, and now by Mrs. Becker. In the valley southward stands Mote farm, alias Brooke house, formerly the habitation of the Stoughtons, then of the Ptoroude's and now the property of Edward Solly, esq. of London.
There are dispersed throughout this large parish many small hamlets and farms, which have been formerly of more consequence, from the respective owners and in habitants of them, all which, excepting East and New Street, and Great Pedding, (the latter of which was the antient residence of the family of solly, who lie buried in Ash church-yard, and bore for their arms, Vert, a chevron, per pale, or, and gules, between three soles naiant, argent, and being sold by one of them to dean Lynch, is now in the possession of lady Lynch, the widow of Sir William Lynch, K. B.) are situated in the northern part of the parish, and contain together about two hundred and fifty houses, among them is Hoden, formerly the residence of the family of St. Nicholas; Paramour-street, which for many years was the residence of those of that name, and Brook-street, in which is Brook-house, the residence of the Brooke's, one of whom John Brooke, esq. in queen Elizabeth's reign, resided here, and bore for his arms, Per bend, vert and sable, two eagles, counterchanged.
William, lord Latimer, anno 38 Edward III. obtained a market to be held at Ash, on a Thursday; and a fair yearly on Lady-day, and the two following ones. A fair is now held in Ash-street on Lady and Michaelmas days yearly.
In 1473 there was a lazar house for the infirm of the leprosy, at Eche, near Sandwich.
The manor of Wingham claims paramount over this parish, subordinate to which there were several manors in it, held of the archbishop, to whom that manor belonged, the mansions of which, being inhabited by families of reputation and of good rank in life, made this parish of much greater account than it has been for many years past, the mansions of them having been converted for a length of time into farmhouses to the lands to which they belong. One of the principal of them was
The manor of Overland, situated in the borough of the same name, about a mile and an half north-west from Ash church, which, in the reign of king Henry III. was held of the archbishop by the eminent family of Criol, having been granted by that king, in his 25th year, to Bertram de Criol, lordwarden and constable of Dover castle, from whose heirs it passed, in the next reign of king Edward I. into the family of Leyborne, and William, son of Sir Roger de Leyborne, appears by the escheat-rolls to have died possessed of it in the 2d year of king Edward II. leaving his grand-daughter Juliana, usually stiled the Infanta of Kent, his next heir. She was thrice married, and surviving her three husbands, died in the 41st year of king Edward III. s. p. and there being no one found, who could make claim as heir to her estates, this manor, among the rest of them, escheated to the crown, where it remained till king Richard II. granted it to Sir Simon de Burley, knightbanneret, lord-warden and K. G. but he being attainted in the 10th year of that reign, this manor became again vested in the crown, and the king, in his 11th and 22d years, settled it on the priory of Canons, alias Chiltern Langley, in Hertfordshire, where it remained till the suppression of that house, anno 30 Henry VIII. when it came into the king's hands, and was the next year granted, with the scite of the priory and other lands and estates belonging to it, to Richard, bishop suffragan of Dover, to hold for his life, or until he should be promoted to some ecclesiastical benesice of one hundred pounds yearly value, which happened before the 36th year of that reign; for the year before that the king granted this manor to Walter Hendley, esq. his attorney-general, to hold in capite. (fn. 1) He lest three daughters his coheirs, who next year joined in the sale of it to Simon Lynch, gent. of Staple, and he, in the 3d year of queen Elizabeth, vested it in William Gybbs, who passed it away by sale to Harfleet, who at the latter end of that reign alienated it to Solley, and he, not many years after, sold it to Mr. John Ward, of London, whose widow Mrs. Catherine Ward, held it in dower at the restoration of king Charles II. After her death it continued in their descendants till it was at length by one of them conveyed by sale, in 1712, to William, lord Cowper, afterwards created earl Cowper, whose greatgrandson the right hon. Peter-Lewis-Francis, earl Cowper, is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
At this place was a chapel of ease to the church of Ash, called OVERLAND CHAPEL, which has been for some time in ruins. The portion belonging to it, consisting of the great tithes of this district, being called Overland parsonage, was appendant to the rectory of Ash, and as such belonged to the neighbouring college of Wingham. The church of Ash itself, being only a chapel to the church of Wingham, was given to that college by archbishop Peckham in 1286, for the support of the provost. In which state it continued till the suppression of the college, in the first year of king Edward VI. when it came into the hands of the crown, where the parsonage of Ash, consisting of several distinct portions of tithes or parsonages, of which this of Overland was one, remained, till queen Elizabeth, in her 3d year, in recompence for other premises belonging to the see of Canterbury, which she had taken into her hands by way of exchange, granted it to the archbishop, with whom it continues at this time. This parsonage or portion of tithes is demised by the archbishop on a beneficial lease, with a covenant for the lessee to pay ten pounds annually to the curate of Ash, as a stipend. There are one thousand acres of marsh within this parsonage, which pary amodus of four-pence an acre in lieu of all tithes.
The manor of Goldston, otherwise Goldstanton, lies about a mile eastward from Overland. The first mention which I find of this manor, is in the reign of king Edward I. when Sir John Goshall is recorded to have held of the archbishop, lands in Goldstanton and Goshall by knight's service. After this, in the 28th year of that reign, William de Clinton, earl of Huntingdon, appears by the escheat rolls to have died s. p. possessed of the manor of Goldstanton, leaving his nephew Sir John de Clinton his heir, in whose descendants it continued till it was passed away by one of them to Richard Clitherow, esq. who kept his shrievalty at this seat, in the 4th and part of the 5th years. of king Henry IV.'s reign, in the 7th year of which he was constituted admiral of the seas, from the Thames westward. He lest a son Roger Clitherow, who left only daughters his coheirs, by the eldest of whom, Alianor, it went by marriage to John Norreys, gent. His descendant John Norreis alienated it to John, lord Clinton; and he died possessed of the manor of Goldstanton, with Lee, alias Elmes, an appendage to it, in the 6th year of king Henry VIII. but in the 30th year of that reign, his descendant lord Clinton and Saye, with Elizabeth his wife, conveyed this manor of Goldstanton, with all other his estates in this parish, to Thomas, lord Cromwell, afterwards earl of Essex, on Whose attainder two years afterwards it came into the hands of the crown, where it staid till the 34th year of that reign, when the king granted the manor of Goldston, alias Goldstanton, with the manor of Lees, alias Nells, in Ash, Winsborough, and Wingham, to Vincent Engham, esq. to hold in capite, (fn. 2) and his grandson Sir Thomas Engham, of Goodneston, at the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, alienated it to Mr. Courcelis, of London, from whom it was soon afterwards alienated to Sir William Wilde, knight and baronet, one of the justices of the king's bench in the reign of king Charles II. He was recorder of London, and created a baronet in 1660, in which year he represented the city of London in parliament. He bore for his arms, Argent, a chevron and chief, sable, the latter charged with three martlets, or. He died in the year 1679, and was buried in the Temple church, London. Lady Wilde, his widow, resided here, and died possessed of it in 1719, and was buried in Lewisham church. After which this manor devolved to the only daughter of Sir William Wilde's eldest son by his first wife, Sir Felix Wilde, bart. and the three danghters and coheirs of his son William by his second wife, and they continued owners of the undivided shares of it till the year 1754, when an act passed for dividing and apportioning it into six parts, according to articles of agreement entered into by the several parties; by virtue of which, three of the said six parts, or one moiety of the whole, was alloted to Nicholas Toke, esq. of Godinton, in right of Eleanor his wife, sole daughter and heir of John Cockman, M. D. by his wife Anne, daughter and coheir of Sir Felix Wilde, bart. above-mentioned, which moiety consisted of the manor of Goldston, with the court baron and its rights and appurtenances, and the farm called Goldston farm. All which, on the death of Nicholas Toke, esq. above-mentioned, in 1757, descended to his eldest son John Toke, esq. late of Godinton, the present possessor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
The other moiety, or three sixth parts of the demesnes of this manor, were allotted, one sixth part, called Upper Goldston farm, to Robert Colebrooke, esq. of Chilham castle, whose father James Colebrooke, esq. had purchased it of William Brandon, whose wife Frances was the eldest of the three daughters and coheirs of William Wilde, esq. the son abovementioned. After this it descended with Chilhamcastle, and the rest of Mr. Colebrooke's estates, till it was sold with them in 1775, to Thomas Heron, esq. of Chilham castle, who passed it away to Fagge and others, and they immediately afterwards joined in the sale of it to Browne, who alienated it in 1788 to Mr. John Alexander, and he is the present owner of it.
Another sixth part, called Lower Goldston farm, containing the mansion of Goldston-house, with the lands, and several other premises in Ash, were allotted to John Masters, in right of his wife Margaret, Second daughter and coheir of William Wilde, esq. before-mentioned, by whom he had two daughters, Elizabeth, married first to James Hall, by whom she has a son William, of Elmstone court; and secondly to Mr. Thomas Jull, who resided here, and possessed his wise's share in it; and to Margaret, the other daughter of Mr. John Masters, who married Mr. Simon Turner, of Dover, by whom she had a son John, surgeon, of Ash, who is now entitled to his father's share in it.
The remaining sixth part, consisting of divers premises in Ash, and two several yearly rents in money, to make an equality of Partition, was allotted to Anna and Maria Herenden, since married to William Shapter and William Cowley, the coheirs of Thomas Herenden, surgeon, of Eltham, and Elizabeth his wife, the third daughter and coheir of William Wilde above-mentioned, whose respective husbands are at this time entitled to the possession of their shares in it.
The porton of tithes, now called Goldston parsonage, consisting of the great tithes of the demesnes of that manor, and of part of that of Goshall, in this parish, and of the great and small tithes of a small parcel of land in Wingham, was given by archbishop Lanfranc to the priory of ST. Gregory, at his foundation of it; and they were consirmed to it by archbishop Hubert, in king Richard I.'s reign. These tithes remained with the prioty till the dissolution of it in king Henry VIII.'s reign, when they came into the king's hands, and were soon afterwards granted in exchange, a special act having passed for that purpose, to the archbishop of Canterbury, part of the revenues of which see they continue at this time. Since which they have been demised, with the scite and other possessions of the priory, in one great beneficial lease, for twenty-one years. George Gipps, esq. of Canterbury, M. P. is the present lessee of it under the archbishop.
Molland, as it is now called, but more properly Moland, is an antient seat, situated at a small distance from Gilton town, which had once for proprietors, a family of the name of Moland, in which it remained till it passed into that of Sandwich, one of whom, Sir Nicholas de Sandwich, son of Sir John, leaving an only daughter and heir Anne, she carried it, with other estates in this parish, in marriage to Sir William de Septvans, of Milton Septvans, near Canterbury, who died anno 1407. By her he seems to have had two sons; William, the eldest of whom, had the paternal seat and estate of Milton; and John, the youngest, had his mother's inheritance, among which was this seat of Moland, with other manors and estates in this parish. His son John Septvans, esq. resided at his manor of Chequer, in this parish, and sealed with the arms of Septvans, three corn fans, as appears by his deed anno 16 Richard II. He lest three sons, John, to whom he gave lands in Thanet and elsewhere; Thomas, to whom he gave his manor of Chequer, with Carters and Twitham marsh, and other lands, in this parish; and Gilbert, his third son, to whom he gave his seat of Moland, next Chequer, with other lands in Ash; all three of whom seem at times to have taken the name of Septvans, alias at Chequer, from their father's feat. Gilbert, on account of his abode with his father at Harslete, in Normandy, and for his services there, was surnamed Harslete. He was at first called Septvans, alias Chequer, then Chequer, alias Harslete, and at last Harslete only. He resided at Moland, and lest at son Thomas, who wrote himself Septvans, alias Chequer, as were his several descendants, who resided at Molland, in whom it continued till king Charles the IId,'s reign, when Sir Christopher Harslete having removed to St. Stephen's, near Canterbury, died there in 1662, and was buried with his ancestors in Ash church, in which there are several monuments and gravestones of them. They bore for their arms, Azure, three fans, or wheat skreens, or, as confirmed to Christopher Septvans, aliasHarflete, in 1574; which coat he quartered with those of Twitham, Sandwich, Ellis, Brooke, Winbourne, and Wolse, as it was formerly painted in the several windows of this church. His son Thomas Harflete was of Molland, and lest an only daughter and heir, married to John St. Leger, esq. who alienated this seat to Singleton, descended from the family of this name, of Broughton Tower, in Lancashire, and his descendant Thomas Singleton, M. D. resided here, and died in 1710, whose son John afterwards sold it in 1727, to the trustees under the will of admiral Sir George Rooke, for the benesit of his son George Rooke, esq. who died in 1739, s. p. leaving it to his widow Mrs. Frances Rooke, and she alienated it in 1753 to Mr. William Allen, brewer, of Canterbury. It has since passed by sale to the Peckhams, and Richard Peckham, of Beakesbourn, esq. is the present possessor of it.
The manor of Chequer, written in antient records Estchequer, is situated at a small distance from Molland, and was in very early times the inheritance of the family of Sandwich, one of whom, Sir NichoIas de Sandwich, in the 20th year of Edward III. held this manor de Lestchequer by knight's service, which his father Sir Thomas de Sandwich before held there of the archbishop. His daughter and heir Anne, carried this manor, with Moland and other estates in this parish, in marriage to Sir William de Septvans, of Milton Septvans, whose youngest son John had his mother's inheritance here, among which was this manor of Chequer, at which he resided, and at his death gave it to his youngest son Gilbert, who took the name of Septvans, alias At Chequer, and afterwards of Harslete. (fn. 3) By a daughter and heir of one of whose descendants this manor passed in marriage to Alday, who resided at it, and bore for his arms, Ermine, on a chief, sable, two griffins combanant, ermine, whose descendants Jerome and Adam Alday alienated it to Raymonde Harflete, in whose descendants it continued down to Thomas Harfleet, esq. of Ash, whose only daughter and heir Aphra, carried it in marriage to John St. Leger, esq. together with the manor of Chilton adjoining to it, situated in a borough of its own name, which comprehends all that part of this parish from Goldston, exclusive of it, south and southeastward, (the rest of the parish being in the borough of overland) which manor had continued in that family from the time of Sir W. de Septvans mentioned above, before which it had owners of its own name, one of whom William de Chilton held it of the archbishop in king Edward the Ist.'s reign. John St. Leger and Aphra his wife, in the year 1695, joined in the conveyance of both these manors to Dr. George Thorpe, prebendary of Canterbury, and he by his will in 1716, gave them, since stilled by this unity of possession, the manor of Chequer, alias Chequer and Chilton, to the master and fellows of Emanuel college, in Cambridge, to be applied to such purposes as were directed by his will, and they continue owners of it at this time; they were given to be applied principally towards the maintenance of five scholars, to be chosen by the master and fellows. They were to be cæteris paribus, the sons of orthodox ministers of the church of England, and diocese of Canterbury, and such as had been brought up at the king's school, in Canterbury, to have a preference.
A court baron is held for the manor of Chequer, alias Chequer and Chilton.
There is a hamlet, called Chilton, very near Ash-street, which consists only of a few houses of but mean account, and are held of the above manor.
Archbishop Peckham, on his sounding the college of Wingham, in 1286, gave to it the church of Wingham, with its several chapels, of which the church of Ash was one; and he allotted the several titheries within them, in distinct portions, to the provost and six canons of it, to the first of which canons he ordained a prebend in this parish, at Chilton, which he decreed should consist of the tithes of those lands which William de Chilton held of him, except the three fields, called Bradeselde, Bremthe, and Utlekere, which he would have remain to the canons in common. These tithes now belong to the rectory of Ash, usually called Gilton parsonage, of which a further account will be given hereaster.
Weddington lies not far from Chilton, and was formerly accounted a manor. The family of Hougham were in early times owners of it, who were descended originally from the Houghams, of Hougham, by Dover, who, in allusion to the arms of their superior lords the Averenches, or Albrincis, lords of the barony of Folkestone, of whom they held their lands, bore for their arms, Argent, five chevronels, sable. And from these Houghams, of Weddington, these now of St. Martin's, near Canterbury, branched off, before king Henry VII.'s reign, as appears by their wills in the Prerogative office, Canterbury. In this family of Hougham, Weddington continued down to William Hougham, who resided here in the begining of king Henry VIII.'s reign, whose descendant Richard Hougham, gent. son of Michael, marrying Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Sanders, gent. of Norborne, his descendants, in memory of it, assumed the arms of Sanders, viz. Or, on a chevron, between three elepbants heads, gules, as many mullets, argent; whilst those of St. Martin's, near Canterbury, retained their original bearing of Hougham. Their son Michael Hougham resided at Weddington, and dying about the latter end of king Charles I's reign, was buried with his ancestors in this church. Soon after which this family became extinct here, and the estate alienated from them, which, after some intermediate owners, passed into the name of Garret, of the Isle of Thanet, in which it remains at this time, John Garret, esq. being the present possessor of it.
The manor of Hills-court, or more properly, Hells court, is situated about half a mile from Ash church, which name it took from a family who resided at it, and were likewise possessed of lands at Darent, called after their name. Bertram de Helles, one of this family, was lieutenant of Dover castle in king Henry III.'s reign. Henry de Helles was knight of the shire in the reign of king Edward III. and Gilbert de Helles, of Hells-court, in Ash, and of St. Margaret Hells, in Darent, was sheriff in the 30th year of that reign, whose arms, sable, a bend, argent, are carved on the roof of the cloysters at Canterbury; and in his descendants this manor continued till king Edward IV.'s reign, when it was alienated to Wroth, where it remained till king Henry VII.'s reign. Not long after which, it appears to have come into the name of Slaughter, where it staid till Mary, daughter of George Slaughter, carried it in marriage to Henry Harflete, gent. of Ash, a younger son of Thomas At Chequer, alias Harflete, esq. of this parish, who by his will in 1608, gave it to his eldest son Henry, and he passed it away by sale to Edward Peke, gent. of Sandwich, together with the manor of Levericks, which lay adjoining to Hills-court, and had been antiently the residence of a knightly family, who settled their name on it, one of whom lies buried at the upper end of the high chancel of this church, having his effigies, cross-legged and in armour, at his feet a lion couchant, on his tomb, with his shield and surcoat of arms, which were Argent, a chevron, sable, between three leopards heads, or. At length, after this family had remained here for some time, it descended down to Anthony Leverick, esq. of Herne, whose only daughter and heir Parnel, in the 18th year of Henry VII. carried it in marriage to Edward Monins, esq. of Waldershare, who afterwards joined with her in the sale of it to one of the family of Peke, of Sandwich, from whom it descended down to Edward Peke, gent. of Sandwich, who was likewise by purchase become owner of the adjoining manor of Hells-court, as has been mentioned before. In his descendants, resident at Hells court, several of whom lie buried in Ash church, who bore for their arms, Azure, three talbot bounds, or, (which arms were confirmed to this family in 1584) (fn. 4) these manors continued down to Edward Peke, esq who died s. p. after which, to satify an incumbrance of mortgage made by him, the see of them was assigned by his niece and heir-at-law Anne, wife of Oliver Stephens, esq. and daughter of his sister Anne, by Matthew Bookey, in 1756, to Sir Francis Head, bart. and he, in 1760, alienated them to Peter Fector, esq. of Dover, who is the present possessor of them. A court baron is held for this manor of Hillscourt, with Levericks, alias Levereux.
Goshall is a manor in this parish, situated at a small distance likewise from Hills-court. It was in early times held by knight's service, of the archbishop, being granted, together with the adjoining manor of Goldstanton, by archbishop Lanfrance, in the reign of the Conqueror, to one Arnoldus, to be so held of him. After which it became the residence of a family who took their name from it. John de Goshale was possessed of this manor in the reign of king Henry III. His descendant Sir John de Goshall resided here in king Edward III.'s reign. He lies buried under a tomb in the high chancel of this church, on which is his figure, lying cross-legged and in armour, with a lion couchant at his feet, with his shield and surcoat of arms, which were, Semee of cross-croslets, a lion rampant, crowned; and underneath is the figure of his wife. After which this manor continued in their descendants, till about the reign of king Henry IV. when it was carried in marriage by a female heir to one of the family of St. Nicholas, who afterwards resided at it. Many of this family lie buried in Ash church. They bore for their arms, Ermine, a chief quarterly, or, and gules, which latter part was the bearing of the family of Say, and was borne in chief by this family of St. Nicholas, in allusion to those of Say, either as their superior lord, of whom they held in see, or in whose service they were, as was the frequent custom of antient times. These arms of St. Nicholas, impaled with their several matches, were formerly painted in the windows of this church, and in one of them was the effigies of one of this family, kneeling on a cushion, with his sword and spurs, and having on his surcoat, with the arms of St. Nicholas, and on the chief, an annulet for difference, as they were likewise in St. Laurence church, in Thanet; in whose descendants it continued down to Roger St. Nicholas, who died in 1484, leaving a sole daughter and heir Elizabeth, who entitled her husband John Dynley, of Charlton, in Worcestershire, to the possession of it. The family of St. Nicholas, afterwards called and written Seniclas, alias St. Nicholas, of which Roger seems to have been a younger son, remained in the parish of Ash, where, and in the adjoining parishes, they continued to poffefs good estates till the reign of king Charles II. when Thomas St. Nicholas, esq. resided here; but they have been some time extinct. John Dynley above-mentioned bore for his arms, Argent, a fess, sable, in chief a pellet, between two mullets of the second. His eldest son Henry succeeded to this manor, which he afterwards alienated about the middle of queen Elizabeth's reign, to John Roper, esq. of Linsted, afterwards created lord Teynham, in whose descendants it continued down to Henry, lord Teynham, who in 1705 conveyed it to trustees, for the use of Sir Henry Furnele, bart. of Waldershare, whose grandson of the same name dying under age and unmarried, this manor, with the mansion, lands, and appurtenances belonging to it, was allotted to Selina, the youngest of his three sisters and coheirs, who afterwards married Edward Dering, esq. (fn. 5) He survived her, and afterwards succeeded his father in the title of baronet, and continued in the possession of this manor till the year 1779, when he conveyed it by sale (his son Edward having joined in the conveyance) to Peter Fector, esq. of Dover, the present possessor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
The tithes of the demesnes of this manor, with those of Goldstanton, were granted by archbishop Lanfranc, to the priory of St. Gregory, in Canterbury, at his foundation of it, and now make a part of the portion of tithes in this parish, called Goldston parsonage, a more particular account of which has been already given.
Twitham hills is a manor here, situated at a small distance from Goshall, which in antient time was a part of the possessions of the family of Hells, or Hilles, as they were usually called, who were owners likewise of Hells-court, as has been already mentioned before, and from thence gave name to both of them; but before the beginning of Edward III.'s reign, they had parted with their interest in it, and this manor was become the property of the family of Twitham, whence it gained the name of Twitham likewise, and Theobald de Twitham appears to have died possessed of it in the 4th year of king Richard II. leaving Maud his sole daughter and heir, who married Simon Septvans, in whose descendants it continued till king Edward IV.'s reign, when it was sold to Wroth, where it remained till that of king Henry VII. not long after which it came into the name of Slaughter, where it staid till Mary, daughter of George Slaughter, carried it in marriage to Henry Harflete, gent. of Ash, a younger son of Thomas at Chequer, alias Harflete, esq. of this parish, in whose descendants it continued for some time, but at length, after some intermediate owners, it was sold to Elgar, whose descendant Nathaniel Elgar, gent. of Sandwich, died in 1796, when it came to S. Toomor, esq. and he is the present possessor of it.
Wingham Barton is a manor, which lies at the boundary of this parish, about half a mile from the river Stour, having been so called to distinguish it from other manors of the same name in this part of the county. It seems to have been parcel of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury, and when archbishop Peckham, in the year 1286, founded the college of Wingham, he gave to it all his archiepiscopal tithe de la Berton, meaning of this manor, from which it gained the name of Wingham Barton, which, after it had continued with the see of Canterbury till king Henry VIII.'s reign, seems about that time to have been granted away by the archbishop to the crown, where the manor itself remained till queen Elizabeth granted it to Sir Roger Manwood, whose son Sir Peter Manwood passed it away by his trustees, at the latter end of king James I.'s reign, to Sir William Courteene, of London, who gave it in marriage with Mary his daughter, to Henry Grey, earl of Kent, whose first wife the was, and he, at his death in 1651, ordered it to be sold to discharge some debts, which it was, not long afterwards, to Mr. James Thurbarne, of Sandwich, who was son of James Thurbarne, esq. a justice of the peace for this county in king James I.'s reign, whose ancestors from the year 1331 had continued very eminent in the cinque ports, especially in Hastings and Romney, and in Romney Marsh, as appeared by several antient records. John Thurbarne, esq. his son, before mentioned, was sergeant-at-law, and served in parliament several times for Sandwich, in king Charles II. and William III.'s reigns. Their arms were, Sable, a griffin passant, argent. (fn. 6) His son John Thurbarne, esq. leaving an only daughter and heir Joane, she in 1690 carried it in marriage first to colonel Edward Rivett, and afterwards to John Ruffell, esq. late governor of Bengal. By her first husband she had one son John Rivett, esq. of Buckinghamshire, who on her death became possessed of it, and he in 1750 conveyed it to Mr. Jofias Farrer, of Doctors Commons, on whose death in 1761, it came to his son Josiah Fuller Farrer, esqwho alienated it, with the scite of Richborough castle, and other lands and premises adjoining, in 1781, to Peter Fector, esq. of Dover, the present owner of them.
But the antient mansion, or manor house of Barton, was granted, in the 4th year of king Edward VI. to Sir Anthony St. Leger, whose descendant of the same name, about the beginning of the reign of king Charles I. passed it away to Mr. Vincent Denne, gent. of Wenderton, in Wingham, who gave it to his nephew Mr. Thomas Denne, of Grays-Inn, and he by his will settled it on his brother J. Denne, esq. of the Inner Temple, who dying s. p. devised it to be shared between his four sisters, who, to pay his debts and legacies, conveyed it to their relation RobBeak, gent. of Sapperton, in Wickham, who had married Bridget, third daughter of Vincent Denne, sergeant-at-law, in whose name and family, who bore for their arms, Gules, a cross flory, ermine, it has continued to this time, Mr. Thomas Beake, of Wickham Breaus, being the present owner of it.
The tithes of the demesnes of this manor, were given by archb. Peckham to the college of Wingham, are a part of the rectory of Ash, commonly called Gilton parsonage, to distingnish it from the other portions of tithes in this parish, an account of which will be further given hereafter.
Fleet is a district in the north-east part of this parish, which was antienly held of the archbishop as of his manor of Wingham; accordingly it is entered, under the general title of the archbishop's lands, in the survey of Domesday, as follows:
Of this manor, (viz. Wingham) William de Acris holds one suling in Fletes, and there he has in demesne one carucate and four villeins, and one knight with one carucate, and one fisbery, with a saltpit of thirty pence. The whole is worth forty shillings.
This district or manor was granted by archbishop Lanfranc, soon after this, to one Osberne, (fn. 7) of whom I find no further mention, nor of this place, till king Henry III.'s reign, when it seems to have been separated into two manors, one of which, now known by the name of the manor of Gurson Fleet, though till of late time by that of Fleet only, was held afterwards of the archbishop by knight's service, by the family of Sandwich, and afterwards by the Veres, earls of Oxford, one of whom, Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, who died anno 3 Edward III. was found by the escheat-rolls of that year, to have died possessed of this manor of Fleet, which continued in his descendants down to John de Vere, earl of Oxford, who for his attachment to the house of Lancaster, was attainted in the first year of king Edward IV. upon which this manor came into the hands of the crown, and was granted the next year to Richard, duke of Gloucester, the king's brother, with whom it staid after his succession to the crown, as king Richard III. on whose death, and the accession of king Henry VII. this manor returned to the possession of John, earl of Oxford, who had been attainted, but was by parliament anno I Henry VII. restored in blood, titles and possessions. After which this manor continued in his name and family till about the middle of queen Elizabeth's reign, when Edward Vere, earl of Oxford, alienated it to Hammond, in whose descendants it continued till one of them, in the middle of king Charles II.'s reign, sold it to Thomas Turner, D. D. who died possessed of it in 1672, and in his name and descendants it continued till the year 1748, when it was sold to John Lynch, D. D. dean of Canterbury, whose son Sir William Lynch, K. B. died possessed of it in 1785, and by his will devised it, with the rest of his estates, to his widow lady Lynch, who is the present possessor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
Archbishop Lanfranc, on his founding the priory of St. Gregory, in the reign of the Conqueror, gave to it the tithe of the manor of Fleet; which gift was confirmed by archbishop Hubert in Richard I.'s reign. This portion of tithes, which arose principally from Gurson Fleet manor, remained with the priory at its dissolution, and is now part of Goldston parsonage, parcel of the see of Canterbury, of which further mention has been made before.
The other part of the district of Fleet was called, to distinguish it, and from the possessors of it, the manor of Nevills Fleet, though now known by the name of Fleet only, is situated between Gurson and Richborough, adjoining to the former. This manor was held in king John's reign of the archbishop, by knight's service, by Thomas Pincerna, so called probably from his office of chief butler to that prince, whence his successors assumed the name of Butler, or Boteler. His descendant was Robert le Boteler, who possessed this manor in king Ed ward I.'s reign, and from their possession of it, this manor acquired for some time the name of Butlers Fleet; but in the 20th year of king Edward III. William, lord Latimer of Corbie, appears to have been in the possession of it, and from him it acquired the name of Latimers Fleet. He bore for his arms, Gules, a cross flory, or. After having had summons to parliament, (fn. 8) he died in the begening of king Richard II.'s reign, leaving Elizabeth his sole daughter and heir, married to John, lord Nevill, of Raby, whose son John bore the title of lord Latimer, and was summoned to parliament as lord Latimer, till the 9th year of king Henry VI. in which he died, so that the greatest part of his inheritance, among which was this manor, came by an entail made, to Ralph, lord Nevill, and first earl of Westmoreland, his eldest, but half brother, to whom he had sold, after his life, the barony of Latimer, and he, by seoffment, vested it, with this manor and much of the inheritance above-mentioned, in his younger son Sir George Nevill, who was accordingly summoned to parliament as lord Latimer, anno 10 Henry VI. and his grandson Richard, lord Latimer, in the next regin of Edward IV. alienated this manor, which from their length of possession of it, had acquired the name of Nevill's Fleet, to Sir James Cromer, and his son Sir William Cromer, in the 11th year of king Henry VII, sold it to John Isaak, who passed it away to Kendall, and he, in the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, sold it to Sir John Fogge, of Repton, in Ashford, who died possessed of it in 1533, and his son, of the same name, before the end of it, passed it away to Mr. Thomas Rolfe, and he sold it, within a few years afterwards, to Stephen Hougham, gent. of this parish, who by his will in 1555, devised it to his youngest son Rich. Hougham, of Eastry, from one of whose descendants it was alienated to Sir Adam Spracklin, who sold it to one of the family of Septvans, alias Harflete, in which name it continued till within a few years after the death of king Charles I. when by a female heir Elizabeth it went in marriage to Thomas Kitchell, esq. in whose heirs it continued till it was at length, about the year 1720, alienated by one of them to Mr. Thomas Bambridge, warden of the Fleet prison, upon whose death it became vested in his heirs-at-law, Mr. James Bambridge, of the Temple, attorney at-law, and Thomas Bambridge, and they divided this estate, and that part of it allotted to the latter was soon afterwards alienated by him to Mr. Peter Moulson, of London, whose only daughter and heir carried it in marriage to Mr. Geo. Vaughan, of London, and he and the assignees of Mr. James Bambridge last mentioned, have lately joined in the conveyance of the whole fee of this manor to Mr. Joseph Solly, gent. of Sandwich, the present owner of it. There is not any court held for this manor.
In this district, and within this manor of Fleet lastmentioned, there was formerly a chapel of cose to the church of Ash, as that was to the church of Wingham, to which college, on its foundation by archbishop Peckham in 1286, the tithes, rents, obventions, &c of this chapel and district was granted by him, for the support in common of the provost and canons of it, with whom it remained till the suppression of it, anno I king Edward VI. The tithes, arising from this manor of Fleet, and the hamlet of Richborough, are now a part of the rectory of Ash, and of that particular part of it called Gilton parsonage, parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, of which further mention will be made hereafter. There have not been any remains left of it for a long time part.
Richborough is a hamlet and district of land, in the south-east part of this parish, rendered famous from the Roman fort and town built there, and more so formerly, from the port or haven close adjoining to it.
It was in general called by the Romans by the plural name of Rutupiæ; for it must be observed that the æstuary, which at that time separated the Isle of Thanet from the main land of Kent, and was the general passage for shipping,had at each mouth of it, towards the sea, a fort and haven, called jointly Rutupiæ. That at the northern part and of it being now called Reculver, and that at the eastern, being the principal one, this of Richborough.
The name of it is variously spelt in different authors. By Ptolemy it is written [Patapiaia (?)] urbem; by Tacitus, according to the best reading, Portus, Rutupensis; by Antonine, in his Itinerary, Ritupas, and Ritupis Portum; by Ammianus, Ritupiæ statio; afterwards by the Saxons, Reptacester, and now Richborough.
The haven, or Portus Rutupinus, or Richborough, was very eminent in the time of the Romans, and much celebrated in antient history, being a safe and commodious harbour, stationem ex adverso tranquillam, as Ammianus calls it, situated at the entrance of the passage towards then Thamas, and becoming the general place of setting sail from Britain to the continent, and where the Roman fleets arrived, and so large and extensive was the bay of it, that it is supposed to have extended far beyond Sandwich on the one side, almost to Ramsgate cliffs on the other, near five miles in width, covering the whole of that flat of land on which Stonar and Sandwich were afterwards built, and extending from thence up the æstuary between the Isle of Thanet and the main land. So that Antonine might well name it the Port, in his Itinerary, [Kat exochin], from there being no other of like consequence, and from this circumstance the shore for some distance on each side acquired the general name of Littus Rutupinum, the Rutupian shore. (fn. 9) Some have contended that Julius Cæsar landed at Richborough, in his expeditions into Britain; but this opinion is refuted by Dr. Hasley in Phil, Trans. No. 193, who plainly proves his place of landing to have been in the Downs. The fort of Richborough, from the similarity of the remains of it to those of Reculver, seems to have been built about the same time, and by the same emperer, Serveris, about the year 205. It stands on the high hill, close to a deep precipice eastward, at the soot of which was the haven. In this fortress, so peculiarly strengthened by its situation, the Romans had afterwards a stationary garrison, and here they had likewise a pharos, of watch tower, the like as at Reculver and other places on this coast, as well to guide the shipping into the haven, as to give notice of the approach of enemies. It is by most supposed that there was, in the time of the Romans, near the fort, in like manner as at Reculver, a city or town, on the decline of the hill, south-westward from it, according to custom, at which a colony was settled by them. Prolemy, in his geography, reckons the city Rutpia as one of the three principal cities of Kent. (fn. 10) Orosius. and Bede too, expressly mention it as such; but when the haven decayed, and there was no longer a traffic and resort to this place, the town decayed likewise, and there have not been, for many ages since, any remains whatever of it left; though quantities of coins and Roman antiquities have been sound on the spot where it is supposed to have once stood.
During the latter part of the Roman empire, when the Saxons prevented all trade by sea, and insefted these coasts by frequent robberies, the second Roman legion, called Augusta, and likewise Britannica, which had been brought out of Germany by the emperor Claudius, and had resided for many years at the Isca Silurum, in Wales, was removed and stationed here, under a president or commander, præpositus, of its own, who was subordinate to the count of the Saxon shore, and continued so till the final departure of the Romans from Britain, in the year 410, when this fortress was left in the hands of the Britons, who were afterwards dispossessed of it by the Saxons, during whose time the harbour seems to have began to decay and to swerve up, the sea by degrees entirely deserting it at this place, but still leaving one large and commodious at Sandwich, which in process of time became the usual resort for shipping, and arose a flourishing harbour in its stead, as plainly appears by the histories of those times, by all of which, both the royal Saxon fleets, as well as those of the Danes, are said to sail for the port of Sandwich, and there to lie at different times; (fn. 11) and no further mention is made by any of them of this of Rutupiæ, Reptachester, or Richborough; so that the port being thus destroyed, the town became neglected and desolate, and with the castle sunk into a heap of ruins. Leland's description of it in king Henry VIII.'s reign, is very accurate, and gives an exceeding good idea of the progressive state of its decay to that time. He says, "Ratesburg otherwyse Richeboro was, of ever the ryver of Sture dyd turn his botom or old canale, withyn the Isle of the Thanet, and by Iykelyhod the mayn se came to the very foote of the castel. The mayn se ys now of yt a myle by reason of wose, that has there swollen up. The scite of the town or castel ys wonderful fair apon an hille. The walles the wich remayn ther yet be in cumpase almost as much as the tower of London. They have bene very hye thykke stronge and wel embateled. The mater of them is flynt mervelus and long brykes both white and redde after the Britons fascion. The sement was made of se sand and smaul pible. Ther is a great lykelyhod that the goodly hil abowte the castel and especially to Sandwich ward hath bene wel inhabited. Corne groweth on the hille yn bene mervelous plenty and yn going to plowgh ther hath owt of mynde fownd and now is mo antiquities of Romayne money than yn any place els of England surely reason speketh that this should be Rutupinum. For byside that the name sumwhat toucheth, the very near passage fro Cales Clyves or Cales was to Ratesburgh and now is to Sandwich, the which is about a myle of; though now Sandwich be not celebrated by cawse of Goodwine sandes and the decay of the haven. Ther is a good flyte shot of fro Ratesburg toward Sandwich a great dyke caste in a rownd cumpas as yt had bene for sens of menne of warre. The cumpase of the grownd withyn is not much above an acre and yt is very holo by casting up the yerth. They cawle the place there Lytleborough. Withyn the castel is a lytle paroche chirch of St. Augustine and an heremitage. I had antiquities of the heremite the which is an industrious man. Not far fro the hermitage is a cave wher men have sowt and digged for treasure. I saw it by candel withyn, and ther were conys. Yt was so straite that I had no mynd to crepe far yn. In the north side of the castel ys a hedde yn the walle, now fore defaced with wether. They call it queen Bertha hedde. Nere to that place hard by the wal was a pot of Romayne mony sownd."
The ruins of this antient castle stand upon the point of a hill or promontory, about a mile north-west from Sandwich, overlooking on each side, excepting towards the west, a great flat which appears by the lowness of it, and the banks of beach still shewing themselves in different places, to have been all once covered by the sea. The east side of this hill is great part of it so high and perpendicular from the flat at the foot of it, where the river Stour now runs, that ships with the greatest burthen might have lain close to it, and there are no signs of any wall having been there; but at the north end, where the ground rises into a natural terrace, so as to render one necessary, there is about 190 feet of wall left. Those on the other three sides are for the most part standing, and much more entire than could be expected, considering the number of years since they were built, and the most so of any in the kingdom, except Silchester. It is in shape an oblong square, containing within it a space of somewhat less than five acres. They are in general about ten feet high within, but their broken tops shew them to have been still higher. The north wall, on the outside, is about twice as high as it is within, or the other two, having been carried up from the very bottom of the hill, and it seems to have been somewhat longer than it is at present, by some pieces of it sallen down at the east end. The walls are about eleven feet thick. In the middle of the west side is the aperture of an entrance, which probably led to the city or town, and on the north side is another, being an entrance obliquely into the castle. Near the middle of the area are the ruins of some walls, full of bushes and briars, which seem as if some one had dug under ground among them, probably where once stood the prætorium of the Roman general, and where a church or chapel was afterwards erected, dedicated to St. Augustine, and taken notice of by Leland as such in his time. It appears to have been a chapel of ease to the church of Ash, for the few remaining inhabitants of this district, and is mentioned as such in the grant of the rectory of that church, anno 3 Edward VI. at which time it appears to have existed. About a furlong to the south, in a ploughed field, is a large circular work, with a hollow in the middle, the banks of unequal heights, which is supposed to have been an amphitheatre, built of turf, for the use of the garrison, the different heights of the banks having been occasioned by cultivation, and the usual decay, which must have happened from so great a length of time. These stations of the Romans, of which Richborough was one, were strong fortifications, for the most part of no great compass or extent, wherein were barracks for the loding of the soldiers, who had their usual winter quarters in them. Adjoining, or at no great distance from them, there were usually other, buildings forming a town; and such a one was here at Richborough, as has been already mentioned before, to which the station or fort was in the nature of a citadel, where the soldiers kept garrison. To this Tacitus seems to allude, when he says, "the works that in time of peace had been built, like a free town, not far from the camp, were destroyed, left they should be of any service to the enemy." (fn. 12) Which in great measure accounts for there being no kind of trace or remains left, to point out where this town once stood, which had not only the Romans, according to the above observation, but the Saxons and Danes afterwards, to carry forward at different æras the total destruction of it.
The burial ground for this Roman colony and station of Richborough, appears to have been on the hill at the end of Gilton town, in this parish, about two miles south-west from the castle, and the many graves which have been continually dug up there, in different parts of it, shew it to have been of general use for that purpose for several ages.
The scite of the castle at Richborough was part of the antient inheritance of the family of the Veres, earls of Oxford, from which it was alienated in queen Elizabeth's reign to Gaunt; after which it passed, in like manner as Wingham Barton before-described, to Thurbarne, and thence by marriage to Rivett, who sold it to Farrer, from whom it was alienated to Peter Fector, esq. of Dover, the present possessor of it. In the deed of conveyance it is thus described: And also all those the walls and ruins of the antient castle of Rutupium, now known by the name of Richborough castle, with the scite of the antient port and city of Rutupinum, being on and near the lands before-mentioned. About the walls of Richborough grows Fæniculum valgare, common fennel, in great plenty.
It may be learned from the second iter of Antonine's Itinerary, that there was once a Roman road, or highway from Canterbury to the port of Richborough, in which iter the two laft stations are, from Durovernum, Canterbury, to Richborough, ad portum Rutupis, xii miles; in which distance all the different copies of the Itinerary agree. Some parts of this road can be tracted at places at this time with certainty; and by the Roman burial-ground, usually placed near the side of a high road, at Gilton town, and several other Roman vestigia thereabouts, it may well be supposed to have led from Canterbury through that place to Richborough, and there is at this time from Goldston, in Ash, across the low-grounds to it, a road much harder and broader than usual for the apparent use of it, which might perhaps be some part of it.
A person unknown gave four acres and an half of land, in Chapman-street, of the annual produce of 5l. towards the church assessments.
Thomas St. Nicholas, esq. of this parish, by deed about the year 1626, gave an annuity of 11. 5s. to be paid from his estate of Hoden, now belonging to the heirs of Nathaniel Elgar, esq. to be distributed yearly, 10s. to the repairing and keeping clean the Toldervey monument in this church, and 15s. on Christmas-day to the poor.
John Proude, the elder, of Ash, yeoman, by his will in 1626, ordered that his executor should erect upon his land adjoining to the church-yard, a house, which should be disposed of in future by the churchwardens and overseers, for a school-house, and for a storehouse, to lay in provision for the church and poor. This house is now let at 1l. per annum, and the produce applied to the use of the poor.
Richard Camden, in 1642, gave by will forty perches of land, for the use of the poor, and of the annual produce of 15s. now vested in the minister and churchwardens.
Gervas Cartwright, esq. and his two sisters, in 1710 and 1721, gave by deed an estate, now of the yearly value of 50l. for teaching fifty poor children to read, write, &c. vested in the minister, churchwardens, and other trustees.
The above two sisters, Eleanor and Anne Cartwright, gave besides 100l. for beautifying the chancel, and for providing two large pieces of plate for the communion service; and Mrs. Susan Robetts added two other pieces of plate for the same purpose.
There is a large and commodious workhouse lately built, for the use of the poor, to discharge the expence of which, 100l. is taken yearly out of the poor's rate, till the whole is discharged. In 1604, the charges of the poor were 29l. 15s. 11d. In 1779. 1000l.
There is a charity school for boys and girls, who are educated, but not cloathed.
The poor constantly relieved are about seventy-five, casually fifty-five.
This parish is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the dioceseof Canterbury, and deanry of Bridge.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, is a handsome building, of the form of a cross, consisting of two isles and two chancels, and a cross sept, having a tall spire steeple in the middle, in which are eight bells and a clock. It is very neat and handsome in the inside. In the high or south chancel is a monument for the Roberts's, arms, Argent, three pheons, sable, on a chief of the second, a greybound current of the first; another for the Cartwrights, arms, Or, a fess embattled, between three catherine wheels, sable. In the north wall is a monument for one of the family of Leverick, with his effigies, in armour, lying cross-legged on it; and in the same wall, westward, is another like monument for Sir John Goshall, with his effigies on it, in like manner, and in a hollow underneath, the effigies of his wife, in her head-dress, and wimple under her chin. A gravestone, with an inscription, and figure of a woman with a remarkable high high-dress, the middle part like a horseshoe inverted, for Jane Keriell, daughter of Roger Clitherow. A stone for Benjamin Longley, LL. B. minister of Ash twenty-nine years, vicar of Eynsford and Tonge, obt. 1783. A monument for William Brett, esq. and Frances his wife. The north chancel, dedicated to St. Nicholas, belongs to the manor of Molland. Against the north wall is a tomb, having on it the effigies of a man and woman, lying at full length, the former in armour, and sword by his side, but his head bare, a collar of SS about his neck, both seemingly under the middle age, but neither arms nor inscription, but it was for one of the family of Harflete, alias Septvans; and there are monuments and several memorials and brasses likewise for that family. A memorial for Thomas Singleton, M. D. of Molland, obt. 1710. One for John Brooke, of Brookestreet, obt. 1582, s. p. arms, Per bend, two eagles.—Several memorials for the Pekes, of Hills-court, and for Masters, of Goldstone. A monument for Christopher Toldervy, of Chartham, obt. 1618. A memorial for Daniel Hole, who, as well as his ancestors, had lived upwards of one hundred years at Goshall, as occupiers of it. In the north cross, which was called the chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr, was buried the family of St. Nicholas. The brass plates of whom, with their arms, are still to be seen. A tablet for Whittingham Wood, gent. obt. 1656. In the south cross, a monument for Richard Hougham, gent. of Weddington, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Edward Sanders, gent. of Norborne. An elegant monument for Mary, wife of Henry Lowman, esq. of Dortnued, in Germany. She died in 1737, and he died in 1743. And for lieutenant colonel Christopher Ernest Kien, obt. 1744, and Jane his wife, their sole daughter and heir, obt. 1762, and for Evert George Cousemaker, esq. obt. 1763, all buried in a vault underneath, arms, Or, on a mount vert, a naked man, bolding a branch in his hand, proper, impaling per bend sinister, argent and gules, a knight armed on borjeback, holding a tilting spear erect, the point downwards, all counterchanged. On the font is inscribed, Robert Minchard, arms, A crescent, between the points of it a mullet. Several of the Harfletes lie buried in the church-yard, near the porch, but their tombs are gone. On each side of the porch are two compartments of stone work, which were once ornamented with brasses, most probably in remembrance of the Harfleets, buried near them. At the corner of the church-yard are two old tombs, supposed for the family of Alday.
In the windows of the church were formerly several coats of arms, and among others, of Septvans, alias Harflete, Notbeame, who married Constance, widow of John Septvans; Brooke, Ellis, Clitherow, Oldcastle, Keriell, and Hougham; and the figures of St. Nicholas, Keriell, and Hougham, kneeling, in their respective surcoats of arms, but there is not any painted glass left in any part of the church or chancels.
John Septvans, about king Henry VII.'s reign, founded a chantry, called the chantry of the upper Hall, as appears by the will of Katherine Martin, of Faversham, sometime his wife, in 1497. There was a chantry of our blessed Lady, and another of St. Stephen likewise, in it; both suppressed in the 1st year of king Edward VI. when the former of them was returned to be of the clear yearly certified value of 15l. 11s. 1½d. (fn. 13)
The church of Ash was antiently a chapel of east to that of Wingham, and was, on the foundation of the college there in 1286, separated from it, and made a distinct parish church of itself, and then given to the college, with the chapels likewise of Overland and Fleet, in this parish, appurtenant to this church; which becoming thus appropriated to the college, continued with it till the suppression of it in king Edward VI.'s reign, when this part of the rectory or parsonage appropriate, called Overland parsonage, with the advowson of the church, came, with the rest of the possessions of the college, into the hands of the crown, where the advowson of the vicarage, or perpetual curacy of it did not remain long, for in the year 1558, queen Mary granted it, among others, to the archbishop. But the above-mentioned part of the rectory, or parsonage appropriate of Ash, with those chapels, remained in the crown, till queen Elizabeth, in her 3d year, granted it in exchange to archbishop Parker, who was before possessed of that part called Goldston parsonage, parcel of the late dissolved priory of St. Gregory, by grant from king Henry VIII. so that now this parish is divided into two distinct parsonages, viz. of Overland and of Goldston, which are demised on separate beneficial leases by the archbishop, the former to the heirs of Parker, and the latter, called Gilton parsonage, from the house and barns of it being situated in that hamlet, to George Gipps, esq. M. P. for Canterbury. The patronage of the perpetual curacy remains parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury.
At the time this church was appropriated to the college of Wingham, a vicarage was endowed in it, which after the suppression of the college came to be esteemed as a perpetual curacy. It is not valued in the king's books. The antient stipend paid by the provost, &c. to the curate being 16l. 13s. 4d. was in 1660, augmented by archbishop Juxon with the addition of 33l. 6s. 8d. per annum; and it was afterwards further augmented by archbishop Sheldon, anno 28 Charles II. with twenty pounds per annum more, the whole to be paid by the several lessees of these parsonages. Which sum of seventy pounds is now the clear yearly certified value of it. In 1588 here were communicants five hundred; in 1640, eight hundred and fifty. So far as appears by the registers, the increase of births in this parish is almost double to what they were two hundred years ago.
Church Of Ash.
|PATRONS,||VICARS and PERPETUAL CURATES.|
|Or by whom presented.|
|The Archbishop.||James Brenchley, in 1660.|
|John Benchkin, 1664 to 1693.|
|John Shocklidge, 1693, obt. 1712. (fn. 14)|
|Obadiah Bourne, 1712 to 1721.|
|Francis Conduit, 1722, obt. 1753. (fn. 15)|
|Benjamin Longley, LL. B. 1753, obt. Feb. 13, 1783. (fn. 16)|
|John Lawrence, March 1783, obt. June 9, 1783. (fn. 17)|
|Robert Philips, M. A. July 1783, resigned 1784. (fn. 18)|
|Nehem. Nesbitt, A. M. 1784, the present curate.|