Parishes: Milton

Pages 28-32

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-westward, being frequently written in antient records Meletune, and in later times Milton, near Canterbury, which addition it had to distinguish it from the other parishes of the same name in this county.

IT LIES about two miles from Canterbury, at a small distance northward from the Ashford road; it is very small, having only one house in it, which is the court-lodge, situated with the church, or chapel as it is called, in the vale near the river Stour, which is the western boundary of it; hence the chalky hill rises pretty sharp to the above-mentioned road, where, from the height of it, the prospect over the vale beneath, through the meadows of which the river winds its crooked path, interspersed with churches and villages, bounded on the summit of the opposite losty hills by the continued range of the Blean and other woods, having at one extremity of the view the tower of Canterbury cathedral, and at the other the parks of Chilham and Godmersham is singularly fine and beautiful. Above the road is a large tract of uninclosed down, being a barren chalky soil, called Milton down, which has been left uncultivated time out of mind; above which the hill keeps rising to Iffins wood, a small part of which is within this parish, as is the deep vale called Larkey valley, (Arcadii vallum) which runs down from thence to the road, through a wild country, covered with shaves and thick coppice woods, all which belong to Mr. Honywood.

THE MANOR OF MILTON was given, in the year 1044, by one Egelric Bigge, to Christ-church in Canterbury, and on the partition of the lands of it, soon after the conquest, between the archbishop and his monks there, was allotted, as a limb of the manor of Westgate, for so it appears to have been then accounted, to the former. Accordingly it is entered, under the general title of the archbishop's lands, in the survey of Domesday, being held by Hamo de Crevequer, surnamed Vicecomes, from his long continuance in the office of sheriff of this county, a man of much eminence, and owner of vast possessions in it, as may be seen throughout that record. The entry is as follows:

Of this manor, (viz. Westgate) Haimo the sheriff holds half a suling of the archbishop, and he has there two carucates, with five borderers, and one servant, and two mills of fifteen shillings. It is worth one hundred shillings.

After which, this manor appears to have been held of the archbishop, in grand sergeantry, by the eminent family of Clare, earls of Gloucester and Hertford, (fn. 1) and it was again held of them, as lords paramount, by knight's service, as of their honor of Clare, by the family of Septvans, called in the quaint language of those times in Latin, De Septem Vannis, who bore for their arms, Azure, three wheat skreens, or fans, or, in allusion to their name, which arms are carved on the roof of the cloysters at Canterbury. Sir Robert de Septvans held it in king Richard I.'s reign, with whom he was at the siege of Acon, in Palestine. He had his chief residence at this place, of which he died possessed, as well as of Aldington Septvans, in Thurnham, far advanced in years, in the 37th year of king Henry III. His descendant, of the same name, resided at Milton Septvans, for so it was then called, from their possessing it, in Edward I.'s reign, being a man of such eminence as to have the custody of Rochester castle, and was knight of the shire. He was afterwards with that king at the siege of Carlaverock, and died in the 34th year of it. His son Sir William Septvans kept his shrievalty here several times in the next reign of king Edward II. Sir William de Septvans kept his shrievalty at Milton in the 4th year of king Richard II. and married Anne, daughter of Sir Nicholas de Sandwich, and dying anno 1407, was buried in Canterbury cathedral. Somner, in his Treatise on Gavelkind, mentions, that this Sir William Septvans, by his will, devised, as well to his servants as those born in vassalage, (nativis suis) for their good services, their full liberty. And he ordered, that each of them should have their deed of manumission under his seal, in testimony of his will. (fn. 2) He seems to have had two sons, William and John, the latter of whom had the manor of Chequer and other estates in Ash, and was ancestor of those of that place, who afterwards took successively the surnames of At-Chequer, and of Harfleet, as will be further mentioned in the description of that parish. The eldest son Sir William Septvans, died possessed of this estate in 1448, anno 27 Henry VI. and was buried, with Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir John Peche, near his father. By her he had an only daughter and heir, married to Sir William Fogge, whose son Sir John Fogge, of Repton, in Ashford, comptroller of the houshold and privy counsellor to Edward IV. alienated it to Sir George Browne, of Beechworth castle, who was attainted by act anno I Richard III. but restored again anno I Henry VII. His descendant Sir Thomas Browne, of Beechworth castle, whose lands were disgavelled by two acts specially passed for the purpose, in the Ist and 8th years of queen Eliza beth, gave it, partly by sale and partly in dower, to his daughter Elizabeth, on her marriage with Robert Honywood, esq. of Charing, and of Markshall, in Essex, whose second wife she was. By her he had a numerous issue, of whom the eldest son Sir Thomas Honywood, of Markshall, inherited this manor. His youngest son John Le Mot Honywood becoming possessed of it, died in 1693, s.p. having by his will devised this manor, among the rest of his estates, to his kinsman Robert Honywood, of the Charing branch of this family, and afterwards of Markshall, esq. but subject to his wife's life, on whom it was settled at her marriage in jointure. She remarried afterwards to Sir Isaac Rebow, of Colchester, who in her right enjoyed it till her death, on which it became the property of Robert Honywood, esq. above-mentioned, who died possessed of it in 1735, as did his grandson Richard, an infant, in 1758, on which his only surviving uncle Philip Honywood, of Markshall, in Essex, and general of his Majesty's forces, succeeded to it, and died s.p. in 1785, having devised this manor and his other estates to his kinsman Filmer Honywood, esq. now of Markshall, late M. P. for this county, who is the present owner of it. There is not any court held for this manor.

There are not any parochial charities, nor any assessment levied for the support of the poor.

THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Canterbury.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, consists of an isle and chancel, the whole of it so very small as to be called only a chapel. It has a small pinnacle of stone at the west end, in which there was till lately an aperture, in which hung one bell. There are no memorials in it, nor any remains worthy of notice.

The church of Milton has always been an appendage to the manor, and as such is now of the patro nage of Filmer Honywood, esq. the present lord of it. It is a rectory, and in the year 1384, anno 8 king Richard II. was valued at 66s. 8d. being among those benefices, which, on account of their smallness, were not taxed to the tenth. It is valued in the king's books at 4l. 14s. 4d. and is now of the clear yearly certified value of twenty pounds. In 1588 it is valued at twenty pounds, communicants twelve. In 1640 it was valued at thirty pounds, communicants ten. It has been augmented by the governors of queen Anne's bounty with the sum of 200l.

Church Of Milton.

Or by whom presented.
Robert Honywood, esq. Thomas Jackson, S. T. P. July 2, 1604, resigned 1624.
Thomas Jackson, A. M. Dec. 17, 1624.
Sir Thomas Honywood. Gregory Pulford, A. M. June 7, 1661, resigned 1669.
Thomas Honywood, esq. John Croker, A. M. August 14, 1669, obt. 1684.
John Le Motte Honywood, esq. Alexander Middleton, A. M. April 2, 1684, obt. 1715. (fn. 3)
Is. Rebow and Elizabeth his wife. Robert Nunn, A. B. August 27, 1715, resigned 1737. (fn. 4)
Richard Honywood, esq. William Broderip, A. M. November 23, 1737, obt. April 1764. (fn. 5)
Philip Honywood, esq. John Tucker, A. M. June 15, 1764, resigned 1770. (fn. 6)
John Gostling, A. M. 1770, the present rector. (fn. 7)


  • 1. See a full account of the customs and services claimed of the earl by the archbishop, for this and other manors, and the composition entered into, in relation to them, vol. v. p. 206.
  • 2. Somner cites the Register of the Consistory Court of Canterbury, but the earliest will registered, remaining there, is in the year 1441.
  • 3. And curate of Thanington, as were his successors, down to John Tucker inclusive.
  • 4. He resigned this rectory for the vicarage of Deopham, in Norfolk.
  • 5. And vicar of Brookland.
  • 6. He resigned this rectory on being presented to that of Ringwold.
  • 7. He held before, the rectory of Brook, and the vicarage of Alkham, which latter he resigned on being collated to the vicarage of Holy Cross, Westgate, with the rectory of St. Peter, Canterbury, united, which he holds with the former.