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parted with them to Alexander Colepeper, by the description of the Rectory of Tonbridge, with its appurtenances, messuages, lands, tenements, and tithes, etc., in the Parishes of Tonbridge, Southboro', and Brombrig,* in the Great Park of Southfrith, and the park and land called Northrith, with the pastorri and large farms, parcels of the Rectory.
Hastedt tells us that Colepeper passed it away in the seventh year of the reign of Elizabeth to William Denton, whose son Sir Anthony held it by Knight's Service. He was one of the Gentlemen of the Band of Pensioners both to Elizabeth and her successor James I. He died in 1615. His monument is still to be seen on the south side in the chancel of the church, cased in armour, and his wife Elizabeth by his side, both reclining on cushions. She survived, and married Sir Paul Dewes of Suffolk. The property was inherited after his death by his three nephews, Anthony, Walter, and Arthur, the sons of Sir Alexander Denton by Anne, daughter of Lord Windsor.
They disposed of the Rectory, lands, and Parsonage to several persons in districts, or tithe-wards.§ The Parsonage consists of the tithe-wards of Haisden, and Little Barden, formerly the property of John Petley, Esq., of Oldbury Hill, near Ightham, who probably purchased them of the Dentons. At his death he devised them to Gilbert Wood of Market Cross in Sussex, who had married Elizabeth his daughter. Their son, J. Wood of Tonbridge, left issue an only daughter, who married John Hooker of Tonbridge, who in 1730 purchased the Castle Manor and demesne lands, and subsequently sold the estate to William Woodgate of Somerhill.
The advowson of the Vicarage, however, still continued in the Fane family, who resided at Hadlow Place, and was afterwards bequeathed to David Papillon of Acrise. It is at present held by John Deacon, Esq., of Mabledon.
The question remains (assuming that the Vicarage existed on the present site), where was the tithe barn, and necessary glebe buildings for such extensive tithe land?
inclined to think that they stood on a site described as "ante barram in Villa de Thonebrigge," allotted originally to the Priory of St. Mary Magdalene, and that when the Vicarage and advowson was handed over to the Knight Hospitallers the tithe barn and buildings which stood on the north side of the church passed to them also, which transfer was, as we have seen, resented by the Brethren of the Priory, and so called forth strong remonstrance from Walter de Merton,* Bishop of Rochester, against any interference with the Knights of St. John. It is singular that we find the same words used by Ralph de Tonbridge in a grant of two denarii arising from a messuage "ante barram in Villa de Thonebrigge.' When Prior Doucra and the Convent of Clerkenwell granted a lease of the Rectory and tithe lands to Ralph Fane this property passed with it, and at the dissolution became his.
It may appear singular that any old buildings which answer to the description of "ante barram in Villa de Thonebrigge" should have existed down to the present time. They were standing in 1573, when Queen Elizabeth in one of her peregrinations rested here for a while on her way from Burlingham to Eridge, the occasion of her visit to Henry Neville, Lord Bergavenny; as the Royal Arms were painted in tempera in one of the rooms attached to it; but a still older portion remained until a few years ago (1881), when it was demolished in order to make room for a more modern addition to Ferox Hall, at that time the residence of Arthur T. Beeching, Esq., J.P.
The old building (of which an illustration is given) was entirely constructed of oak timber, some 45 feet in length and 22 feet in width. It consisted of two stories, the lower barely 6 feet 6 inches in height, over which was an upper chamber, or hall. It was floored with rough oak slabs, from 13 to 14 inches wide and 3 inches in thickness, and approached with oak winding staircase and newel; the roof, which stood on oak chamfered beams, was 24 feet high to the ridge, with chamfered king post, moulded cap and
Reg. Roff, A.D. 1267, p. 668. Cott. MS. Nero, p. 230.
bases, and curved ribs. The whole was lighted with two large windows at the east end, and had a fireplace at the other end constructed of brick and masonry 6 feet in thickness. It was no doubt the old tithe farm buildings which passed on the dissolution of the Order to Ralph Fane.
Being old even at that time, and ill suited for a residence, it seems probable that the before-mentioned Fane built for himself and his wife Elizabeth, who survived him, a new residence to the east of the old building, which was constructed in local sandstone, having a centre and two side wings. The walls of this building are 2 feet 6 inches in thickness, and the rooms lighted with Tudor four-light windows. The house has since been much altered by building over the forecourt, but enough remains to shew that the building corresponds to the time of his original grant. In one of the rooms there was until recently some fine carved oak panelling of a renaissance character, with grotesque heads in circular wreathed carvings. These were removed and adapted, as fittings in Ferox Hall, by Mr. Beeching, when the new additions were made, and may still be seen by any curious archæologist.
SCHIBOURNE OR SHIPBOURN.
Not mentioned in Domesday, but is returned by Hamo,* Bishop of Rochester, in the seventh year of King Edward II. as one of the chapelries attached to the Church of Tonbridge; the other two being Hadlow and St. Thomas the Martyre (Capel), which were held by the Prior and Brethren of the Knight Hospitallers of St. John. Hastedt speaks of it as being "under the cognizance of the Preceptory or Commandry of West Peckham as a Chantry Magistrate."
LITTLE OR WEST PECKHAM.
West Peckham, Little Peckham, or Littlefield with its church and manor formed part of the possession of Odo, and is mentioned in Domesday as being in the tenure of Corbin, and answering for two sulings with arable land for six teams. In demesne, having twelve villeins with five teams and eight † Hasted, vol. v., p. 52.
*Reg. Roff., p. 128.
borderers, and five serfs with three acres of meadow and wood for ten hogs. In the time of the Confessor it was worth 12 pounds. The King has of this manor three denes where there are four villeins, and they are worth 40o.
On Odo's disgrace it was escheated to the Crown, and held by Blondeville by Knight's Service of bearing one of the King's goshawks when he went beyond the seas; at this time the manor was valued at 15 pounds.
Tanner, quoting from Philpot, mentions a preceptory here belonging to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, but it is uncertain to whom the foundation is to be attributed. Philpot mentions the name of Sir John Colepeper as the founder, and that he gave it to the Templars before the dissolution of the Order under Edward II. Hasted traces the manor as being held by John de Peckham in the twenty-first year of Edward I. as passing to Robert Scarlett, and after him to Adam de Brooke, when it was accounted a manor with a messuage, rents of assize, and 184 acres of land and wood, and so held by his widow Dionisia, who died possessed of it A.D. 1332, when it was divided into two moieties; the one held by John de Mereworth and the other by Lionel, Duke of Clarence, in right of his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, and his daughter Philippa, the wife of Edmond Mortimer, Earl of March, after which the property passed to the Colepepers, and Sir John Colepeper, one of the Justices of the Common Pleas, gave it to the Knight Hospitallers in the tenth year of the reign of Henry IV., A.D. 1408; and this seems the more probable as there is no mention of it in Dugdale's Monasticon, or in the return made by Philip de Thane to the Grand Master in 1338.
Sir John Colepeper‡ made his will on the Feast of St. John the Baptist, 1413. After the usual pious bequest of his soul to God and the Blessed Virgin, he directs that his body should be buried beside his sepulchre§ in the Parish *Hasted, vol. v., pp. 57, 58. †Tanner, p. 227. Philpot, p. 269.
Lambeth Palace Library, Chichele, part 1, fol. 265 b. The monument has this inscription on a brass plate: Hic Jacet Johannes Colepeper miles . unus justicius domini regis de communi banco . . . . et Kalri.... obiit xxx° die mensis Augusti A.D. MCCC. . . . animabus propiciatur Deus Amen.
Church of Westpecham, and leaves the sum of xx" to be distributed to the poor residing in the neighbourhood of the parish of Offam; and to the Church of Westpecham he leaves a Service Book, to be and remain in the custody of his wife Katherine while she lives at Oxnode, or to be disposed of in any other way that the said Katherine and his other executors may see fit. "I also leave for my soul and John Solas de Ledys for distribution to the poor xx3; also I leave to the bretheren of the House Elisford for the celebrations for my soul and the souls of my ancestors xls; and also for the poor attending at my funeral jd; also to Walter Ladde, the Vicar of Westpecham, for tenths, and oblations of obits x; also to the Vicar of Hadlo for a like purpose vjs viijd; also to the Vicar of Wrotham for the like vs; also to the Church of Brenchesle for the like x'; also to John Wyght xx'; also to William Onger xiijs iiijd; also to my farm laborors who I may have at that time ijs, to be distributed by my executors; also to the poor house called Spitelhouse at London and Canterbury vjs viijd for my soul and the souls of Walter Colepeper, Richard, Charles, and Alice his wife, to pray for me; also for distribution to the poor in the parishes of Maydeston and Eastfarlegh for my soul and the souls of Walter Colepeper, Charles, and Alice his wife for prayers v marks; also for two thousand masses to be celebrated at London and Canterbury and elsewhere continuously after my decease, 1000 for my soul and another 1000 for my mother's and Walter Colepeper's; also to Walter Throld xls, and the residue of my goods not heretofore devised I leave to my wife Katherine, and appoint my wife Katherine, Thomas Boteller, late Vicar of Hadlow, John Woodchirch, John Brikenden, and John Godfray my executors. In testimony of which I hereby affix my seal." Also to the parish of West Peckham for the work and fabric of the Church xx marks.
The advowson* of the Church of West Peckham was held by the Prior and Convent of Ledes in the twenty-first year of Edward I., 1298, and confirmed by Thomas, Bishop of Rochester, in 1333.
Reg. Roff, p. 514.