Parishes: Hougham

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: Hougham', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800), pp. 451-462. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Hougham", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800) 451-462. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: Hougham", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9, (Canterbury, 1800). 451-462. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

In this section


OR Huffam, as it is called, and frequently written in Domesday, Hicham, being so denominated from its high situation, lies the next parish eastward from Polton. Part of it only is within this hundred of Bewsborough; another part is within the hundred of Folkestone; and the residue is within the jurisdiction of the cinque ports, and of the corporation of the town and port of Dover. A borsholder, for that part of this parish which is within the hundred of Bewsborough, is chosen at the court leet of the hundred.

THE PARISH of Hougham lies among the high eastern hills of Kent, in a healthy though a very rude and wild country. In the midst of it are two streets, called Church Hougham, and East Hougham; in the former of which the church stands, and at the south-west part of it, a hamlet called West Hougham. Great part of this parish is full of small inclosures, interspersed with frequent coppice wood, and much rough ground. The soil is but poor and barren, consisting of either chalk or a red earth, covered with a rotten slint stone, with which the narrow roads here abound. Towards the eastern part of it the ground lies high, being an open uninclosed down, across which the high road leads from Folkestone to Dover, quite to the sea-shore, over which the chalk cliffs here rise to a great height; from hence there is a most beautiful prospect over the channel, and the Bologne hills on the coast of France. Near the bottom of these cliffs are three holes, called Lydden Spouts, through which the subterraneous waters empty themselves continually on the beach of the shore; and the belief of the country is, that the waters of the Nailborne, at Drelingore, in Alkham, at least four miles distant, communicate subterraneously with these spouts, which increase as the springs heighten by wind and weather. Over these spouts, in the middle of the cliff, are two large square rooms cut out of the chalk, one within the other; they are called the Coining-house, and have a very difficult way to come at them, the cliff here being upwards of four hundred feet high.

When the plague raged in London in the year 1665, it was brought to Dover, and great numbers died there of the pestilence in that and the following years, for the burial of whom a piece of ground was bought in this parish, on the side of the hill fronting the pier fort, and consecrated for that purpose. It is computed that upwards of nine hundred of those who died of this pestilence were buried in it, since which it has been constantly known by the name of the Graves.

Henry Benger, gent. was of Hougham, and resided here anno 1619, and descended from John Benger, of Maningford, in Wiltshire. They bore for their arms, Or, a cross vert, surmounted by a bendlet, gules. (fn. 1)

THE PARISH OF HOUGHAM was part of those lands which were given to Fulbert de Dover, for the desence of Dover castle, (fn. 2) which made up together the barony of Fulbert, or Fobert, as it was usually called, being held in capite by barony, of which Chilham became the chief seat, or caput baroniæof which this place, as appears by the book of Dover castle, was afterwards held by knight's service. Among these lands was included THE MANOR OF HOUGHAM, otherwise called THE ELMES, at times called by the names of Great Hougham, alias Chilverton; and likewise Southcourt, from its situation in regard to the manor of Northcourt, alias Little Hougham, in this parish.

This manor was held in manner as above-mentioned by a family who took their surname of Hougham from it. This family bore for their arms, Argent, five chevronels, sable; which Philipott (fn. 3) says they bore in allusion to those of their superior lords, of whom they held lands, the Averenches, or Albrincis, lords of the barony of Folkestone, whose arms were, Or, five chevronels, gulesFrom this family of Hougham descended those of Weddington, in Ash, near Sandwich, now extinct; and from the latter collaterally, those now of St. Paul's near Canterbury. One of the above mentioned family, Robert de Hougham, held it in king Richard I.'s reign, and was present with that king at the siege of Acon, in Palestine. At length his descendant Robert de Hougham, leaving two daughters his coheirs, of whom Benedicta was married to John de Shelving, and the other to Waretius de Valoignes, the latter became entitled to this manor, on the share of his wife's inheritance; and in the 14th year of king Edward III. obtained a charter of free-warren for this manor of Hougham. He left two daughters his coheirs, one of whom married Sir Francis Fogge; the other Maud, married Thomas de Aldelyn, or Aldon, who in her right became possessed of this manor.

Thomas de Aldelyn, or Aldon, as the name was afterwards written, died possessed of this manor in the 35th year of the above reign; but it should seem that he had no further interest in it but for his life, for Maud his wife before her death had infeoffed William Tapaline and others in this manor, and they passed it away to Stephen, Richard, and John de Combe, the latter of whom was of Hastingligh, and afterwards became sole possessor of it. He conveyed this manor in the 10th year of king Richard II. in trust to sell it; after which it came into the name of Heron, in which it remained at the end of king Henry IV.'s reign, and from which it was after some interval alienated to William Fineux, gent. of Swingfield, who had three sons; Sir John Fineux, chief justice of the king's bench, who purchased Haw-house, in Herne, under which, an account of him and his descendants may be seen; William, to whom his father gave this manor of Southcourt; and Richard, who was of Dover. (fn. 4)

William Fineux, who had this manor of Southcourt by gift of his father, resided at Hougham, and dying possessed of it in 1534, s.p. he by his will gave it to William, the eldest son of his brother Richard deceased, who afterwards resided here, and in his direct descendants it continued down to Thomas Fineux, gent. of Dover, who in king Charles II.'s reign passed away this manor to Robert Breton, gent. who resided at the mansion, called the Elmes, in this parish, formerly the residence of the Nepueus, several of whom lie buried in this church, which seat he had purchased of William Nepueu, esq. of Twickenham, the grandson of Peter, the first builder of it, who was a native of France, and came over to England upon the edict of Nantes, and brought with him a considerable property. He died in 1658, and lies buried in Hougham church. They bore for their arms, Azure, a fleece, or. Robert Breton above-mentioned was descended from the Bretons, of Barwell, and on the mother's side from the Bassingtons, of Temple Rothley, in Leicestershire, being the son > of Nich. Breton, of Norton, near Daventry. He died possessed of this estate, and was buried in this church. His great-grandson M. Breton, esq. afterwards of Kennington-house, (fn. 5) alienated both manor and seat to Robert Lacy, esq. who resided at Elmes, where he served the office of sheriff in the year 1739, and he died possessed of them about the year 1746; upon which they came to his son-in-law Granado Piggott, esq. who in 1749 passed them away to Mr. Phineas Stringer, of Dover, who died in 1757, leaving two sons, Phineas, of whom hereafter; and George, of Canterbury. Phineas, the eldest son, is of Dover, and married the daughter of Mr. Richard Rouse, of Dover, by whom he has an only daughter and heir, married to Mr. Edward Broadrip, gent. of Dover. He bears for his arms, Per chevron, or, and sable, in chief, two eagles displayed of the second; in base, a fleur de lis of the first. He succeeded his father in this manor and seat, and is the present owner of them.

A court baron is held for this manor, the boundaries of which, as I am informed, begin at High-cliff, from whence they extend along the coast, to a place called Jews-gut, and there leaving the cliff, on towards Capel, whence including West Hougham, they go down to the Elmes, and the land of Dover priory.

THE MANOR OF HOUGHAM-COURT, alias NORTHCOURT, which latter name it took from its situation in regard to the former described manor of South court, was comprehended as part of those lands which, as has been mentioned before, were given to Fulbert de Dover, and with other lands made up the barony of Fobert, of which it was held afterwards by knight's service, by the family of Basing, of eminent account in the city of London during the reigns of king John and king Henry III. for the high offices of trust which they bore in it. At length Sir Thomas de Basing succeeding to this manor, he alienated it to Adam Sare, whose heirs were in the possession of it in the 20th year of king Edward III. How it passed afterwards, I have not found, till the beginning of king Henry VI.'s reign, when it was alienated to Clive, commonly called Cliffe, a family of good account in the counties of Salop and and Essex; from whence, at the latter end of that reign, it passed by sale to William Hextal, esq. of East Peckham. One of his daughters and coheirs Margaret, entitled her husband Wm. Whetenhall, esq. commonly called Whetnall, citizen and alderman of London, to it. (fn. 6) His descendant William Whetenhall about the middle of king Henry VIII.'s reign sold it to John Boys, esq. of Fredville, in whose descendants it continued down to Major John Boys, of Fredville, who possessed it in 1656.

Before his death he alienated this manor; but now it passed afterwards I have not learned, only that it became vested in the name of Woodroofe; and in the year 1720, William Woodroofe, clerk, of Cambridgeshire, sold one moiety of it to John Walker, citizen and draper, of London, who passed it away to Francis Cabot, and he, at his death in 1753, devised it to his widow Barbara, as she did to her father Mr. Robert Cooper, of Salisbury, and her brother in law William Barnes. In 1786, this moiety was in possession of Robert, son of the above-mentioned Robert Cooper, and of Anne Barnes, and they joined in the sale of it to Mr. Michael Becker, of Dover, who in 1792 sold it to Mr. Philip Leman, of Dover castle, the present owner of it.

The other moiety continued afterwards in the descendants of William Woodroofe above-mentioned down to the Rev. Mr. Woodroofe, of Shoreham, in this county, the present possessor of it; so that this manor remains in undivided moieties at this time.

There is no court held for this manor; to it is annexed the right to wreck of the sea along the coast, from High cliff to Archcliff fort.

SIBERTON, alias SIBERSTON, is a manor in the north-east part of this parish, which made likewise part of the barony of Fobert before-mentioned, of which it was held by knight's service. John de Herste held this manor in the 2d year of king John, and in the 20th year of king Edward III. the heirs of another John de Herst held it by the description of lands in Siberston, of the barony of Chilham, by the like service, and the payment of ward to Dover castle; not long after which it appears to have been in the possession of a family who took their surname from it, one of whom, Richard de Siberston, as appeared by an old dateless deed of that time, demised it to John Monins, in whose descendants it continued down to Edward Monins, esq. of Waldershare, whose lands were disgavelled by the act of the 2d and 3d Edward VI. He died possessed of it in the 6th year of that reign, and by his will gave this manor of Seberston, to his second son George Monins, and he sold it to Thomas Pepper, jurat of Dover, who dying in the 17th year of queen Elizabeth, gave it to Thomas, son of Richard Pepper, and he in king James I.'s reign alienated it to Moulton, of Redriff, in whose descendants it remained at the time of the restoration of king Charles II. 1660, after which it was alienated, after some intermediate owners, to Mr. Phineas Stringer, of Dover, whose son, of the same name, is the present possessor of it.

But this manor, by unity of possessionhas for some year since been so blended with that of Hougham, otherwise called the Elmes, above described, that it is now accounted one and the same manor.

THE TITHES of the manor of Siberston, lying in Elms bottom, in this parish, were part of the possessions of the priory of St. Martin, in Dover, and continued so till the dissolution of it in the 27th year of Henry VIII. when this portion of tithes, among the rest of the possessions of the priory, came into the king's hands, who granted it with the scite and other possessions of the priory, in his 29th year, to the archbishop in exchange, in manner as has been already frequently mentioned before, in which state it has continued ever since, his grace the archbishop being at this time entitled to the inheritance of it. John Monins, esq. of Canterbury, is the present lessee of it.

FARTHINGLOE, alias VENSON DANE, is another manor in this parish, which was antiently part of the possessions of the canons of St. Martin, under the general title of whose possessions it is thus entered in the survey of Domesday:

In Beusberg hundred. In Ferlingelai, William the son of Ganfrid holds one suling, and there he has in demesne one carucate, and four villeins, with one carucate. It is worth four pounds. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, six pounds. Sired held it as a prebend.

And immediately following, under the title of the same possessions:

In Hicham, Balduin holds one suling, and there he has four villeins, and five borderers, with two carucates. It is worth four pounds. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, one hundred shillings. Eduuin holds it.

As the canons of St. Martin's priory had other possessions in this parish, besides the manor of Farthingloe, the latter entry no doubt contains the description of them, and includes their estate here, called Venson Dane, alias Wellclose, mentioned below, which together with the manor of Farthingloe, remained parcel of the possessions of the above priory, till the final suppression of it in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. when they both came into the king's hands, who granted them in his 29th year to the archbishop in exchange, as has been already more particularly mentioned before; since which this manor of Farthingloe, with the estate of Venson Dane, alias Wellclose, has remained parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, his grace the archbishop being at this time entitled to the inheritance of them. The interest of the present lease is vested in the widow of Mr. Nath. Walker, deceased, and Mr. John Marsh (the present occupier); the former possessing the lands, and the latter the great tithes, for their respective shares.

This estate is exempted from the payment of the great or corn tithes. There is not any court held for this manor.

The manor of Farthingloe was held of the prior and canons in king Henry III.'s time, by a family, who from their residence at it, took their surname from it. One of them, Matilda de Farthingloe, is mentioned by Prynne, anno 44 Henry III.

MAXTON, or Maxton court, is another manor situated in this parish, at no great distance from Farthingloe, which in king Henry III.'s reign, as appears by the book of knights fees kept in the king's remembrancer's office, was in the possession of Stephen Manekyn, who held it by knight's service of the barony of Fobert, and together with other lands elsewhere made up that barony, and were given for the desence of Dover castle. After this it seems to have been divided into moieties, and to have been held by Richard Walsham, and Alice, daughter of Stephen Manekin, who alienated the whole of it to William, son of Nicholas Archer, of Dover, whose seal was, A stag's head, caboshed, as appears by a deed in the Surrenden library, dated anno 17 Edward III. His son William Archer, in the 21st year of the next reign of king Richard II. passed it away by sale to John Alkham, of Alkham, a family of good estate in this neighbourhood, in the descendants of which this manor remained for some time; but at the latter end of king Edward IV. it was become the property of Roger Appleton, from whom it passed to Hobday, and thence to Harman, of Crayford, from which name it was sold by Thomas Harman to Sir James Hales, who at or about the middle of queen Elizabeth's reign alienated it to Andrews, of Dover, who some few years afterwards sold it to Pepper, and he in king James I.'s reign conveyed it to Sir Thomas Wilford, of IIden, who in king Charles I.'s reign passed it away to Mr. William Richards, of Dover, whose descendant of the same name, devised it to his nephew John Sladden, of Dover, merchant, as he did to his sister Mary, who carried it in marriage to Mr. Thomas Fagge, of Dover, whose trustees, after his death, to perform the uses of her will, sold it in 1783 to Tho. Biggs, esq. of Dover, the present owner of it, who has much improved the mansion of this manor, by making several additional buildings to it. A court baron is held for this manor.


THOMAS PEPPER, jurat of Dover, by his will in 1574, de vised to the poor within the parishes of our Lady of Dover and Hougham, one annuity of 40s to be distributed equally between them, issuing out of his manor of Syberstone, and the lands belonging to it, with power to distrain, &c. now vested in Phineas Stringer, esq. and the money is distributed to such as do not receive weekly allowance of the parish.

There is a house divided into two small dwellings, inhabited by two persons placed there by the churchwardens and overseers of the poor; but how it came to the parish is not known.

The poor constantly maintained are about twenty-five, casually fifteen.

HOUGHAM is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Dover.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Laurence, is an ancient building, but small, consisting of two small isles and a chancel, having neither tower nor steeple, but it has a place for three small bells. In the chancel lie buried several of the families of Hougham and Malmaines; the brasses of whose stones have been long since torn off, though the lines of their portraitures still remain. In the chancel is a monument for Wm. Fyneux, esq. son of Robert. He died in 1587; arms, Vert, a chevron, between three eagles displayed, or, crowned, gules, impaling Warren, azure, a cross, or; in the first and fourth quarters, a martlet; in the second and third, a chaplet of the second. Another for Peter Nepeau, gent. who lies buried in a vault underneath; he built and resided at the Elmes, in this parish, still continuing the trade of a merchant; he died in 1658. William, his only surviving son, married Sarah, daughter of Mr. Bulteel, of Tournay, in Flanders, who was also buried in this chancel. His youngest son William succeeded to the Elmes, which he sold, and settled at Twickenham; he died in 1710; arms, Azure, a fleece, or. Another for Robert Breton, esq he died in 1707; arms, Azure, a bend between six mullets, pierced, or. And for William Hannington, esq. who married a daughter of William Monings, lieutenant-governor of Dover-castle; he died in 1607.

This church was part of the possessions of the priory of St. Martin, to which it was appropriated by archbishop Stratford, in 1345, and a vicarage endowed in it, (fn. 7) both which were at the suppression, in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. granted with the scite of the priory and other possessions of it in the exchange to the archbishop, with a reservation of the antient pension from the prior of forty shillings to the vicar, in manner as has been frequently more particularly mentioned before. In which state they now continue, his grace the archbishop being possessed of the appropriation of this church, with the advowson of the vicarage of it. The parsonage is called Little Hougham court, which with the tithes are held under the archbishop by Mr. Thomas Walker, of Dover. The glebe land is ninety acres.

In 1588 here were one hundred and twenty communicants, and it was valued at forty pounds per annum. This vicarage is valued in the king's books at 6l. 13s. 4d. Archbishop Juxon, anno 14 Charles II. augmented this vicarage with twenty-five pounds, to be paid by the lessee of the great tithes, which was again confirmed anno 22 of that reign. The vicar still receives the antient pension of forty shillings from the archbishop. It is now a discharged living of about the clear yearly value of forty-six pounds.

Church of Hougham.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. Thomas Swadlin, S. T. P. 1662, obt. 1673. (fn. 8)
Robert Bostocke, S. T. B. Feb. 10, 1673, resigned 1675. (fn. 9)
William Brewer, A.B. April 21, 1675, obt. 1701.
George Fage, A.M. April 12, 1701, resigned 1701. (fn. 10)
John Paris, A. M. Oct. 17, 1701, resigned 1701.
Michael Bull, A.M. Feb. 25, 1702, resigned 1708.
John Taylor, A. M. Sept. 15, 1708, resigned 1712.
Edward Hobbs, A. B. May 1712, obt. 1762.
Thomas Tournay, A. M. 1762, obt. 1795. (fn. 11)
William Tournay, A. M. 1795, the present vicar. (fn. 12)


  • 1. Herald. Vistn. co. Kent, anno 1619. Pedigree Benger.
  • 2. See vol. vii. of this history, p. 270.
  • 3. See Camden's Remains, p. 212, and Guillim, p. 67.
  • 4. See Herne, vol. ix. of this history, p. 87, for the origin of this family, from Leland's Itinerary, vol. vi. p.6. There are pedigrees of them in the Heraldic Visitations of Kent, of the years 1574 and 1619.
  • 5. See vol. vii. of this history, p. 552.
  • 6. Philipott, p. 195. See more of the Hextals and the Whetenhalls, in vol. v. of this history, p. 101.
  • 7. Leiger book of St. Martin's priory, f. 194h, MSS. Lambeth. The register-book of archbishop Stratford has been long since lost. but the endowment is preserved in this leiger book. See Ducarell's Rep. p. 67.
  • 8. Likewise rector of St. James's, in Dover, which he resigned in 1664, for the rectory of Alhallows, in Stamford. He was buried in the chancel of that church anno 1669. Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. i. p. 696; vol. ii. p. 459.
  • 9. And rector of St. James's, in Dover.
  • 10. Afterwards rector of Hunton, and vicar of Marden, and a prebendary of Litchfield, and died in 1728.
  • 11. Also rector of St. James's, Dover.
  • 12. Son of the former vicar.