Parishes: St Stephen's, alias Hackington

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: St Stephen's, alias Hackington', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800) pp. 42-55. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: St Stephen's, alias Hackington", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800) 42-55. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: St Stephen's, alias Hackington", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800). 42-55. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

In this section


LIES the next parish northward from that of St. Dunstan's. The latter is its proper name, which it still retains in all judicial matters, though otherwise it is but little known, being in general called St. Stephen's, a name it acquired from an image of that saint, which stood in the church, and was much visited by pilgrims, on account of its supposed miraculous powers. Though the greatest part of this parish is within the hundred of Westgate and borough of Hackington, in which the church and village of it stand, yet that part containing the borough of Shoart is within the hundred of Downhamford, and the remaining part, which is but small, is within that of Bridge and Petham.

THIS PARISH lies for the most part of it on the rise of the hill from the river Stour, that part of it next to Canterbury is not unpleasant, and is accounted tolerably healthy, but it is very damp, and the springs rise very near the surface. In this part is a new-built house, now belonging to, and inhabited by Mrs. Joane Knatchbull, and near it the vicarage house; at a little distance from which is an antient gentleman's house, formerly belonging to the Aylworth's, who bore for their arms, Argent, a fess engrailed, between six billets, gules. (fn. 1) The Jacobs and the Denews afterwards owned it, whence it passed by the marriage of Dorothy Denew, to the Rev. Julius Deedes, prebendary of Canterbury, whose son William Deedes, esq. resided at it until his death in 1793; and his son of the same name soon after wards sold it to John Baker, esq. who now resides in it. A little further is the village, situated round St. Stephen's green, having on one side Sir Roger Manwood's alms-houses, and at a little distance on the opposite side of the church, adjoining to the church-yard westward, stood the old Place-house, pulled down by Sir Edward Hales some years ago, adjoining to which on the further rise of the hill, are the gardens, park, and mansion of Hales-place, from the terrace of which there is a most beautiful view of Canterbury, the cathedral, and the neighbouring country round it. Here the soil becomes a stiff clay, and as the hill rises higher still more so, where the land is very poor indeed, heathy, and greatly covered with woods. Sir Edward Hales having near four hundred acres in this part of the parish, a most wild and dreary country. In the upper part of it, near St. Thomas's hill, is Beverley farm, a small part only of which is in this parish, it was formerly the estate of the Ropers, of St. Dunstan's, and now of Sir Edward Dering and Sir Rowland Wynne, barts. Northward from hence is the hamlet of Tyler hill, so called from a manufacture of tiles at it; at the bottom of the hill there is a small bourne, or rivulet, which rises in the Blean woods, and separates this parish from that of Bleane. A small distance hence, in this valley, stood the manor-house of Haghe, now called Hall, some years since pulled down, which had the appearance of having been a gentleman's habitation, about which, as may be known by a survey taken in queen Elizabeth's reign, there was a park paled in, the lands of which are now inclosed in Sir Edward Hales's park, and are still called Hall farm, Halesplace stands on part of them. North-eastward from hence is Shelford and Barton farm and manors, the latter belonging to Sir Edward Hales. It formerly belonged to St. Jacob's hospital, in Wincheap, and was then called Firmies Barton, from the donor of it, and afterwards vulgarly Infirm Barton. There is a part of this parish on the north side of it, which is se parated from the rest of it by that of Swaycliff intervening, and on the opposite side beyond the Stour, there is a small parcel of land in this parish, next to that of Northgate below Barton mill. A fair is held on St. Bartholomew's day yearly on St. Stephen's green, for toys and pedlary. King Edward III. on his return from doing homage to the French king, held a tilt and tournament at this parish of St. Stephen's, alias Hackington.

THE ARCHBISHOP'S manor of Westgate claims paramount over the greatest part of this parish, that is, so much of it as is within the hundred of Westgate.

HACKINGTON, written in Domesday, Latintone, was in the reign of king Edward the Confessor, and until the time of the Norman conquest, in the possession of the burgesses of Canterbury, from whom it was taken by Odo, bishop of Baieux, accordingly it is thus described in that survey, under the general title of his possessions:

Haimo the sheriff holds of the bishop, Latintone. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is one carucate and an half. In demesne there is one, and two borderers. There is a small grove of twelve acres of pasture. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, and now, it was and is worth three pounds. The same Haimo holds of the bishop half a suling, and there is arable land four carucates. In demesne there are two carucates, and eleven borderers with three carucates, and sixteen acres of coppice wood. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth one hundred shillings, and afterwards six pounds, and now nine pounds. The burgesses of Canterbury held these lands in the time of king Edward the Confessor, and till the time of the bishop of Baieux, who took them from them.

Four years after the above survey, the bishop was disgraced, and this, among the rest of his estates, was confiscated to the crown.

THE MANOR OF HAGHE, alias HAWE, now commonly called Hall, was certainly a principal part of the bishop's estate in this parish, which was afterwards granted to one of the family of Bellamont, or Beaumont, earls of Leicester, in which it remained till Robert Bellamont, called Fitzparnell, earl of Leicester, dying in 1206, s.p. his widow Lora became possessed of it, and retiring from the world, devoted herself to the service of God at this place, where she died in 1219, and was buried in this church, as is supposed, under the large stone on the steps, leading to the altar. (fn. 2) On which, Simon de Montfort, who had married Amice, one of the sisters and coheirs of Robert, earl of Leicester above-mentioned, became entitled to it, and became in her right earl of Leicester. His youngest son Simon was that turbulent and powerful earl, who joined with the rebellious barons against king Henry III. and was slain at the battle of Evesham in the year 1265. Upon which his honours and lands became forfeited to the crown, and the king gave them to his second son Edmund, earl of Lancaster, Leicester, &c. How this estate passed afterwards I have not found, nor any thing further relating to it, till the reign of king Henry VII. when it was in the possession of the name of Woodlande, one of whom, William Woodlande, leaving a sole daughter and heir Alicia, she carried it in marriage to Woode, whom she survived, and by will in 1522, devised this her manor of Haghe to John Rooper, of Brenley, son of Alicia her daughter, and he died possessed of it in 1527, at which time he dwelt in St. John's hospital, in Canterbury, and by will devised it to his daughter and heir Joane, who entitled her husband R. Eyre, esq. afterwards of Brenley, to it. (fn. 3) From which time I find no mention of it till king Edward VI.'s reign, when it appears to have been vested in the crown, for in the 7th year of it, the king had a house and park here, which was afterwards, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, granted to Roger Manwood, esq. barrister-at-law, then of Hackington, for so he stiled himself in the 5th year of that reign. He was afterwards knighted, and made chief baron of the exchequer, and much noted for his learning and sagacity in his profession of the law. (fn. 4) Sir Roger Manwood resided at a seat in this parish, near the church, which had most probably been granted to him by the queen, at the same time as this manor abovementioned. This house, which stood adjoining to the church-yard, is said by Philipott to have formerly belonged to the archdeaconry of Canterbury, and to have been taken from it at the time of the reformation, and it staid in the crown till queen Elizabeth granted it to Sir Roger Manwood. Somner, Lambarde, and others agree, that the archdeacon's house at St. Stephen's was taken away at the above time, and vested in the crown, but there are no papers relating to it with the archdeacon. Weever says, the monument of Sir Christopher Hales, attorney-general, who died anno 33 Henry VIII. was remaining in this church in his time; most probably, therefore, he resided in this parish, and it is not unlikely that it was he who induced the king to rob the archdeacon of it, and obtained a temporary grant of it afterwards for himself. (fn. 5). This mansion Sir Roger Manwood rebuilt, in size and grandeur equal to his rank and fortune in life, in which he continued to reside till his death in the year 1592. He was deposited in a vault, built by himself, for the purpose, in which his descendants likewise lay, in the south isle of this church, over which he erected for himself a superb monument, having both in his life-time and by his will been a liberal benefactor to the town of Sandwich, in which he founded a free school, as well as to this parish, as will be further mentioned hereafter. He was descended of a good family in that town, in which he was born, his grandfather Thomas Manwood serving in parliament for it anno 15 Henry VIII. He bore for his arms, Sable, three pallets, or, on a chief of the first, a demi lion of the second. (fn. 6) He was succeeded by his eldest son Sir Peter Manwood; who kept his shrievalty here in the 44th year of queen Elizabeth. He afterwards served several times in parliament for Sandwich, and was not only eminently learned himself, but a patron of learned men. He died in 1625, leaving a numerous issue, having been, as well as his lady, liberal benefactors to this parish and to the town of Sandwich. After his death, this manor, with the adjoining park, the mansion of Place-house, and the estate belonging to them, came at length (his eldest son Roger, having died s.p.) to his second son Sir John Manwood, who was gentleman of the privy chamber, and lieut-governor of Dover castle. He alienated them in 1637, to Col. Thos. Colepeper, afterwards knighted, the fifth son of Sir Anthony Culpeper, of Bedgbury, who resided here, and died possessed of them in 1643, and was buried in this church. His only son Thomas Colepeper, esq. in the year 1675 sold them to E. Hales, esq. eldest son of Sir E. Hales, bart. of Tunstall, who resided here, and in 1678 had the king's licence to make a park, the antient one having been for some time disparked, (fn. 7) and having been first knighted by king James II. afterwards succeeded his father in the title of baronet. Since which they have descended to his great-grandson Sir Edward Hales, bart. who, some years ago, pulled down the antient Place-house, and in the room of it erected for his residence, on the rise of the hill in the before-mentioned park, at some small distance northward, a most costly and magnificent edifice, at this time scarcely finished, which he named HALES-PLACE, in which he now resides, and still continues his improvements in the park and grounds adjoining to it, to render the whole complete and suitable to each other.

THE MANORS OF SHELFORD AND MEADGROVE, alias BROADOAK, lie adjoining to each other, on the north side of this parish, next to Sturry. The former of them, called in antient writings, shuldeford, was in king Edward I.'s reign the property of Nicholas de Hadloe, or Handloe, as the name was sometimes spelt, who obtained a charter of free warren for it in the 21st year of that reign, and his descendant Sir Richard Handloe died possessed of it in the 17th year of king Edward III. Soon after which this family became extinct here, and it came into the name of Brent, in which it continued down to Roger Brent, gent. of Canterbury, who died possessed of it in the 3d year of Henry VII. afterwhich it was alienated to Sir Edward Boughton, of Burwash-court, in Plumsted.

But the manor of Meadgrove alias Broadoak was held of the abbat of St. Augustine, by knight's service, by the family of Hardres, in which name it continued till king Henry VIII.'s reign, when it was alienated by Thomas Hardres, esq. to Sir Edward Boughton before mentioned, owner of the manor of Shelford likewise, who in the 30th year of that reign conveyed them both, together with the manor of Blakyslonds and other premises in St. Stephen's, alias Hackington, and Sturry, to the king, in exchange for the manor of Plumsted, and other estates adjoining to it. After which they remained in the crown till king Edward VI. in his 7th year, granted them to Reginald Lygate, to hold in capite, who quickly afterwards alienated them to Sir Edmund Rouse, during whose possession of them, in the reign of Philip and Mary, they came by extent into the hands of the crown, and in queen Elizabeth's reign Sir Roger Manwood seems to have been in possession of them by a grant for a term of years; but the fee of them remained in the crown till king Charles I. in his 11th year, granted them by letters patent to Richard Sydenham, esq. and Edward Smith, gent. (fn. 8) who soon afterwards sold them to Robert Austen, esq. of Hallplace, in Bexley, created a baronet anno 12 king Charles II. in whose descendants they continued till they were alienated by Sir Sheffield Austen, bart. in 1754, to Mr. John Venner, who by his will devised them to John Venner, esq. late of Canterbury, and he is the present owner of them. There are not any courts held for these manors.

Archbishop Baldwin, who was promoted to the see in king Henry II.'s reign, began the foundation of a college for secular canons, near the church of Hackington. It was to have been built in the church-yard of it, which from the present size of it, being much larger than most others, might well have been. But the monks of Christ-church, perceiving the prejudice it would be to their convent, so effectually remonstrated to the pope against it, that they obtained a bull, enjoining the archbishop to pull down what was already built here, and wholly to desist from the undertaking in future, pronouncing it a place cursed and profane, et maledictum, et profanum. Upon which the archbishop gave over all thoughts of the design of a college here, and formed a resolution to build one in a different place. (fn. 9)


SIR ROGER MANWOOD, of St. Stephen's, chief baron of the exchequer, by his will in 1592, founded, near his mansion-house here, and hospital, being a row of seven alms-houses, with a cloyster, conduit, gardens, &c. of which the west corner one, was to be for the dwelling of the parish-clerk, and for the safe custody of the wool, hemp, and other stuff for the parish stock, to set the poor at work; and the other six houses for six aged poor and honest persons, married or unmarried, to continue during life, unless for good cause removed. And he endowed it with a liberal maintenance, the chief part of which was to be paid by the possessors of his chief house here. The mayor and aldermen of Canterbury to be the yearly visitors of it. (fn. 10) By his will he likewise ordered, that for the good repair and maintenance of two or three miles of highways, between Thornden-gate and Canterbury, and of Shulford and Barton-lane, upon all which he had bestowed much cost, the person who possessed his chief house here, should yearly double the money collected for the statute work for that purpose, with power of distress, &c.

DAME FRANCES MANWOOD, by will in 1638, gave to the poor 20l. paid out of four houses and gardens in Westgate parish, in Canterbury, now converted into a rent charge of 2l. per annum, to be distributed on the Sunday next after the 2d of April, at the discretion of the minister and churchwardens, and now vested in trustees.

ROBERT HALES, ESQ. gave 100l. which was vested in the lands of the late Granville Wheler, esq. in Otterden and other adjoining parishes, and is now of the annual produce of 5l.

MRS. ELIZABETH LOVEJOY, by her will in 1694, gave an annuity of 5l. to the poor of Sir Roger Manwood's hospital before-mentioned, to be paid out of the lease of certain tithes, vested in the mayor and commonalty of the city of Canterbury. (fn. 11)

ARCHDEACON SIMON LANGTON gave for the repair of the church, certain premises, called Langton's lodge, in Sturry, with three acres of land adjoining, the yearly rent of which is now 1l.

PETER MANWOOD, ESQ. in 1594, gave for the same purpose, two small tenements, with half an acre of land, at Tyler-hill, in this parish, the rent of which, one of the tenements having fallen down, is now only 1l. per annum.

SIR ROGER MANWOOD, in his life-time, gave another house at Tyler-hill, called Hobson's tenement, which Sir Thomas Colepepir, on his purchasing the mansion and estate of St. Stephen's, took possession of, and it has been since, and remains now in the possession of the Hales's.

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

The church, which is dedicated to St. Stephen, is built in the form of a cross, consisting of a body, and chancel at the east end, and two cross chancels on the north and south side of the body, having a low spire steeple set on the tower at the west end, in which are six bells and a clock. This church has been built at different times. The bottom part of the tower of the steeple appears, by two very small circular windows in it, and the door-way, which is, though a pointed arch, decorated with two rows of zig-zag ornaments, to be the most antient, and was probably in being in archbishop Baldwin's time, who is said to have began to rebuild this church with stone, which was before built only of timber; nor is the body of it of much less antiquity. The east chancel, which is elegant for the time, was built next, and the two cross ones, at a long distance of time afterwards. In the high chancel are several memorials for the vicars of this church, within the altar rails. Several hatchments of the Aylworths and Stocketts. Without the rails a monument for Capt. William Alcocke, obt. 1616, arms, Argent, on a fess, gules, three fleurs de lis, or, between three scythes, sable. A hatchment for Nethersole, A label of three points, or, impaling Aylworth. Next to the steps of the altar is a very large stone, having had the figure of a woman on it, with arms and other ornaments in brass, all long since gone. Memorials for several of the James's, Edgforths, Dixons, Denews, Jacobs, and Aylworths, all residents in this parish. A stone with a brass inscription for J. Deve, vicar, obt. 1473. Against the north wall is a curious painting, of a monument of queen Elizabeth, with her effigies lying at full length on a tomb; above is a canopy, supported by marble pillars, and adorned with different coats of arms and inscriptions. On the opposite wall was ano ther of the like sort, almost now obliterated; but by a coat of arms still remaining, it seems to have been for king James I. A hatchment for Capt. John White, captain and commander of several ships of queen Elizabeth, obt. 1635; arms, Sable, a chevron, between three fleurs de lis, argent, impaling Aylworth. A memorial for Catherine, wife of Cyprian Rondeau Bunce, gent. obt. 1781. A monument for Richard Ibbetson, D. D. rector of Lambeth, &c. obt. 1731. The windows seem to have been very rich with painted glass, of which there is very little remaining; but in the east window is a coat of arms, Argent, on a cinquefoil, sable, a crescent, or. The south cross was built wholly by Sir Roger Manwood, and a large vault under it for himself and his family. His monument is against the west wall of it, set up by him in his lifetime, very handsome, having his bust, in his chief baron's robes and cap; and underneath, in small figures, on one side his wife and three sons and two daughters, and on the other side his second wife only, all kneeling. Underneath is his skeleton, curiously carved in white marble, lying at full length. The inscriptions may be seen in Boys's Sandwich, p. 247. Over it are his banners, crest, helmet, &c. and in the windows his arms and impalements, in coloured glass. At the west end of the body is a small monument for Levina, wife of Sir John Manwood, obt. 1641. In the church-yard, near the porch is a tombstone over Robert Moorfield, a famous soldier under Forbessor and Drake, obt. 1629, æt. 74. At the south-east corner of the chancel are tombstones for the Burnbys, of this parish; and at the east end of the chancel one for Richard Drason, gent. obt. 1664. The family of Manwood were great benefactors to the whole fabric of this church, as well as to the ornaments within it, as the family of Hales have been since.

This church, called in archbishop Baldwin's time, Capella de Hackington, was part of the antient posses sions of the see of Canterbury, and remained so till archbishop Langhton, in 1227, appropriated it to the archdeaconry, his brother Simon being then archdeacon. And in order, most probably, to induce the prior and convent to consent to it, he granted to them the antient mansion where the archdeacons had dwelt ever since the time of archbishop Lanfranc, near the priory of St. Gregory. Upon which the archdeacon removed hither, where the house was the residence of his successors for many years afterwards; (fn. 12) during which time, archbishop Arundel, anno 1414, died at this mansion, and archbishop Warham likewise, anno 1533, having been a good benefactor to it, his kinsman William Warham being then the possessor of it, and the last archdeacon who resided at it; for this mansion being, as I suppose, the parsonage-house of this parish, was not long afterwards, with the lands belonging to it, given up to the crown, notwithstanding archdeacon Warham's strenuous opposition to it, who seems on this account, rather than consent to such an injury, to have resigned, as Somner says, its like for conscience sake, his archdeaconry.

The taking away the archdeacon's house at St. Stephen's, by king Henry VIII. has been already mentioned before, and it has in general been thought, for there is no written evidence that I have met with for it, that the old Place-house, the residence of Sir Roger Manwood, near the church, which was pulled down some few years ago, was that of the archdeacon here. If so; it must have been the parsonage house of St. Stephen's, to which he removed at the first grant and appropriation of it to him in the year 1227, as above related. The land belonging to this house, adjoining to it, was probably the glebe land of the parsonage, to which at this time there is neither house nor glebe belonging. But the parsonage or tithery of this parish, with the advowson of the vicarage, remained as before, so that the archdeacon of Canterbury continues at this time the possessor of the appropriation, as well as patron of the vicarage of this church.

Before the reformation, the chief part of the maintenance of the vicar arose from the oblations offered to the image of St. Stephen in this church, which being suppressed, the vicar's income became from that time very small and insufficient, which Sir Roger Manwood considering, in 1588, for that and other conscientious motives, surrendered his lease, which he held from the archdeacon, of the parsonage of this parish, consisting of the tithes of corn and hay, at the yearly rent of ten pounds, and with his consent and that of the archbishop, settled it, on certain conditions and the usual annual reserved rent, on the vicar of it and his successors, as a perpetual augmentation of the vicarage of it, in which state it continues at this time. The conditions of it were, that they should reside constantly, and should not take any other benefice with cure, nor apply themselves to any ministry, or office of clerk or petty canon in any cathedral church, under pain of five pounds to the archdeacon for every month they should be found faulty in any of those respects. And that they should pay all procurations, and repair the chancel. (fn. 13)

The vicarage is valued in the king's books at 5l. 2s. 3½d. and the yearly tenths at 10s. 2¾d. In 1588 here were communicants one hundred and thirtyfour. In 1640 it was valued at forty pounds. In 1710 the profits of this vicarage, excepting the house and gardens and the tithes of wood, were let at ninety pounds per annum.

Church Of St. Stephen, alias Hackington.

Or by whom presented.
Archdeacon of Canterbury. John Bradock, A. M. April 1, 1698, obt. Aug. 14, 1719. (fn. 14)
Simon Hughes, S. T. P. Nov. 27, 1719, obt. July 23, 1728. (fn. 15)
John Coppin, A. M. Nov. 15, 1728, obt. Feb. 26, 1731.
Thomas Leigh, A. M. August 4, 1731, resigned 1733. (fn. 16)
Thomas Buttonshaw, A. M. June 14, 1733, resigned Dec. 1733. (fn. 17)
John Bunce, LL. B. May 24, 1734, obt. Nov. 8, 1786. (fn. 18)
The Archbishop, by lapse. Allen Fielding, A. B. Nov. 3, 1787, the present vicar. (fn. 19)

THE REMAINING PART of this hundred, being the several exempt jurisdictions, lying within the bounds of the county and city of Canterbury, will be inserted in the description of that county and city.


  • 1. Vistn. co. Kent, anno 1619, pedigree Aylworth.
  • 2. See Weever, p. 260. Camden, p. 242.
  • 3. These wills are in the Prerogative-office, Canterbury.
  • 4. See several complaints made of his want of integrity, and mal-practices whilst he was a judge, in Strype's Annals, vol. iii. p. 61-270, and vol. iv. p. 119.
  • 5. See more relating to this house hereafter.
  • 6. See Boys's History of Sandwich, p. 199, et seq. where there is a full account of him and his family, and a pedigree of them, as well as in Vistn. co. Kent, anno 1619.
  • 7. See a full account of the Hales family in vol. vi. of this history, p. 88.
  • 8. At the yearly rent of 55l. 15s. 4d. which rent is now paid to the earl of Sandwich.
  • 9. See more of the dissentions concerning the college at Hackington, in Dec. Script. col. 1675.
  • 10. See the will in Boys's Sandwich, p. 256.
  • 11. See the will in Lewis's Thanet, appendix, p. 93.
  • 12. Battely's Somner, p. 156, appendix, p. 65.
  • 13. See also Strype's Life of Whitgift,p.284.
  • 14. Buried in the chancel. His monument is against the east wall within the altar-rails.
  • 15. He was before rector of Smarden, which he afterwards held with this vicarage, and was prebendary of Chichesten. He was buried within the altar-rails of this church, having been a good benefactor to the vicaragehouse.
  • 16. He resigned this vicarage on being presented to the rectory of Murston.
  • 17. He resigned this on being presented to Brookland.
  • 18. He held this vicarage with the curacy of Stodmarsh, and was one of the six preachers of Canterbury cathedral. He lies buried, with several of his family, within the altar-rails in this church.
  • 19. He resigned the vicarage of Shepherdswell, on being presented to this vicarage, which he holds with the curacy of Stodmarsh.