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Where there existed no preceptory, there might be a bajula, or a bailiwick, to superintend the management of the estates, as would appear to have been the case at West Peckham; elsewhere they were frequently let to farm at a reasonable rate.

The sources of income derived from the several manors may be summed up as consisting of rent of lands, mills, wind, water, and fulling; the produce of preceptories, gardens, and curtilage; arable, pasture, and meadow land; columbaria, market-tolls, and stallage; donations from pensioners; sale of stock; appropriations of churches and chapels; services of villeins, or copyholders in labour or day's work in kind; assessed rents of tenants in socage; perquisites of the courts in which pleas were tried; lastly, collections or subscriptions from landowners or confrairii.

On the other side there was the annual cost of maintenance, repairs of preceptories and farm buildings, rent and law charges, collecting tolls and dues on ecclesiastical and other properties; lastly, and not least, a generous hospitality to the nobility, clergy, or poor wayfarers. The balance in all cases was paid to the Treasurer and Prior for the benefit of the whole Order, and he in turn accounting with the Grand Master in Rhodes or Malta.

By an Act passed 32 Henry VIII., c. xxiv. (1540), intituled "An Act concerning the possessions of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in England and Ireland, otherwise called Knights of the Rhodes," after reciting that they had sustained the usurped power of the Pope within the realm, and for other causes therein mentioned, were dissolved, their possessions (as in the case of the Knight Templars*) were transferred to the Crown, the Priors and Confrères of St. John being allowed to be called by their own names and surnames without any addition.

By section viii. of the above Act* it is provided that John Mableston, Clerk, Sub-prior of St. John of Jerusalem, and

*On the seizure of the Templars' lands and houses the survivors found an asylum in other Orders and Monasteries. Two shillings a day was assigned for the support of the Masters, and 4d. for each Knight. De la Mare died in the Tower in 1311. Rymer's Fœdera, vol. iii., pp. 34, 35; ed. 1708.

William Erinstead, Clerk, Master of the Temple in London, should have during their lives all such mansions, houses, stipends, wages, and profits of money, as heretofore, without hindrance of the King or his heirs; the said Master and two Chaplains of the Temple doing their duties and services. as they had been accustomed to do.

By section ix. it was further enacted that the said Subprior and Master of the Temple, and two Chaplains, should upon their reasonable suits and petitions have letters patent of their said pensions, mansions, etc., under the Great Seal, without fee.

When the Mastership became vacant by death in the reign of Edward VI. it was filled up by letters patent from the Crown; and, as regards the Temple, has so continued.*

The several langues of the Order of the Grand Master of Rhodes and Malta consisted of Auvergne, France, Italy, Arragon, England, and Germany. Malta was conceded by the European Powers by treaty to England in 1814, and each langue is now presided over by its sovereign-as that in England is by the Queen, or her delegate the Prince of Wales.

In England the Order possessed property in Kent in the following parishes :† Ash, Bolyngton, Burham, Cocklescomb, Dartford, Ewell, Hadlow, Stalisfield and Ore, Rodmersham, Strood, Sutton at Hone, Swingfield, Tonbridge, Waltham, West Peckham, etc., hereafter mentioned.


Is situate in the Hundred of Axtane; it lies some six miles to the north-west of Wrotham, originally held by Hugo de Port, under Odo, Bishop of Rochester; on his disgrace it was given by the King to Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent. The entire manor was appraised at vijl.

In the reign of Henry III. the parish seems to have been divided into North and South Ash, a limb of which formed the manor of St. John's, Ash. After the decease of the Earl of Kent the property was held by William de Latimer, who

*H. T. Baylis, Q.C., 1893.

+ Larking.

Hasted, vol. ii., p. 469. Arch. Cant., Vol. X., p. 153.

obtained a grant, in the thirtieth year of Edward I., of a market on Thursday, also a fair on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, and free warren* within all his demesne lands; and his grandson, in the twentieth year of the reign of Edward III., held it of Roger de Mowbray by the fourth part of a Knight's fee, under the King.

The manor of North Ash† soon after the time of King Richard II. was given to the Knight Hospitallers of St. John. In the year 1338 the annual payment from the manor of Asche is returned as producing iiij" to the Prior of Clerkenwell.

In the seventh year of Edward I.§ the church and rectory|| made an annual payment of ten marks to the Hospitallers, by whom it was united as an appendage to their manor of Sutton at Hone, after which it had no separate court of manor.

On the suppression of the Hospitallers in 1532 it was granted to Sir Maurice Dennis.


William, son of Grosse, held Bonninton of Hugh de Montfort under the King. It answered for one suling, with arable land for four teams. A church was there, viij serfs, and pannage for viij hogs. In the time of the Confessor it was worth ivli, afterwards iij", then c3. (Domesday.)


The manors of North or Hall Court and Bonnington in the Hundred of Estrains or Street were moieties of the manor of Swyngfeld,¶T which Hasted** tells us appears by ancient records to have been held by a family of that name. nington was subordinate to Folkestone and Turlingham, and so held by the performance of Ward to the Castle of Dover.+t It formed a portion of the property of the Knight Templars, and is mentioned in the register of their demesne at *Dugdale, Bar., vol. ii., p. 31. † Philpot, p. 55. § 1279. The family of Richard Swyngfield, stated by Hasted to have resided there. and was consecrated at Gloucester 1282-3. Society, vol. lxii., p. 66.

** Hasted, vol. viii., p. 122.

Larking, p. 94.

Thorpe, Reg. Roff., p. 128.

afterwards Bishop of Hereford, are He succeeded Thomas de Cantilupe, Hasted's Kent, iii., p. 350. Camden tt Arch. Cant., Vol. X., p. 129.

the suppression of the Order in the second year of Edward II., and in the seventeenth year of his reign by a provision made by Act of Parliament was settled on the Knight Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem.*

Furley+ tells us that there was a church here as far back as 796, and that mention is made of it in a charter granted by King Offa to Gambert, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the return made by Philip de Thane it is mentioned under the head of Swenfeld, and consisted of 24 acres of arable land and a like quantity of pasture, and at that time produced a rental of xxvis viiją, or quit rent.

John de Criol‡ appears to have died possessed of the manor of Boynton 48 Henry III., and both Boynton and North Court in the third year of Richard II. were held by his descendant. Nicholas Criol gave it to John Fineaux, for having saved his life at Poictiers.

John de Criol is mentioned as contributing xls for land which William Hykmore held in Oxenega, in the barony of Folkestone.

On the suppression of the Order,§ it was granted by Henry VIII., in the thirty-fifth year of his reign, to Sir Thomas Moyle, who conveyed it to Sir James Hales of the Dungeon, near Canterbury, a Justice of the Common Pleas; who was the only Judge who refused to affix his signature to the instrument for placing the crown on the head of Lady Jane Grey,|| declaring that the attempt to exclude Mary was unlawful and unjust. He is said to have drowned himself in despair in the river near Thanington. Mr. Edward Foss, the writer of the article, is of opinion that his case suggested to Shakespeare the hair-splitting subtleties which he put in the mouth of the gravedigger in Hamlet, scene i., act v.


Was held by Ralph de Curbespine¶ of the Bishop of Rochester. It answers for six sulings.** There is arable

*Philpot, p. 82.

+ Hund. Roll, p. 138; vii., pp. 2, 763.

§ Philpot, p. 82.

Domesday, p. xiv. The Crookedback.

Hasted, vol. viii., p. 122.
Arch. Cant., Vol. V., p. 27.

**Sulin, solin, or caruca, as much land as sufficeth for one plough.

land of eight teams; in demesne there are two, and fifteen villeins with twenty borderers and six teams, a church, seven serfs, one mill of vis, and ten acres of meadow; wood for twenty hogs. In the time of King Edward (the Confessor) it was worth ten pounds, and he received as much; now twelve pounds. The Bishop of Rochester had houses of this manor, and they were worth vijs. Earl Lewin held of this manor.


The same Ralph de Curbespine also held lands in Essewelle, Sellings, and Daneton of the See of Rochester. Hasted states that he resided at Birling, and that his descendants continued owners of Burham till the reign of Henry II., when they were succeeded by the family of Magminot, and that the church of Burham was anciently part of the possessions of the Knight Hospitallers.

In 1279+ Edward I. issued a writ requiring a return of all the Hospitals appertaining to the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem, whether taxed for the tenths or not, which were anciently held by the Templars, and the annual value of the churches fully set out. In answer to this the Bishop replies, that there was in the diocese of Rochester appertaining to the Hospitallers the church of Burgham, which was taxed at xxij marks.

Thomas, Bishop of Rochester, subsequently, with the approval of the brethren of the Hospital, and William de Tothale, the Prior, granted and assigned to the Vicar the usual tenths, with eight acres of arable land in Froghreresland, also eleven acres in Benecroft and Stonhelle, and one acre lying between Hackwood and the church of Burgham, called Oacre, and another pasture lying in Landmedediche, also the tenths of garden produce from a certain tenement called Holenstonesyok, from the manor of Bergham, and ij quarters of corn from the granary of the rectory. The Vicar to preserve and make good all books, vestments, etc., etc. . . . . Dated in the church at Burgham, after the Feast of St. Katerine the Virgin, A.D. 1302.

In 1315 a dispute arose between John de Ross, Rector *Hasted, vol. iv., p. 410. †Thorpe, Reg. Roff., pp. 125, 126.

Tanner and Cox's Cal., p. 93, fol. 149.

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