Cooling - Cliffe History

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Cooling by Edward Hasted
AD 1797


EASTWARD   from Cliff lies Cowling, antiently written Colinges and Culinges ,   so called from its cold and bleak situation.
THIS   PARISH of Cowling is more than four miles in length, from   north to south, and not half so much in width; that part of   it next to the marshes, which are more than two miles   across, and bounded by the river Thames northward, lies low   and flat; the soil a stiff wet clay, having much rough   ground, and thick inclosures throughout it. In this part of   it, near the edge of the marshes is Cowling castle, the   ruins of which are converted into a farm house, about half a   mile from which is Cowling-street; besides which there is   another village, with the church in it, at the eastern side   of the parish, close to the marshes, whence the ground rises   southward to a very high hill, on which is the seat, called   from its situation, Lodgehill, having a most extensive   prospect on all sides round it. Cowling is an unfrequented   place, the roads of which are deep and miry, and it is as   unhealthy as it is unpleasant.
COENULF, king of   Mercia, in the 12th year of his reign, anno 808, gave to his   faithful servant, Eadulf, one ploughland and a half, with   all its appurtenances in Culinges, according as the bounds   are in his charter mentioned. (fn. 1)
In the reign of   king Edward the Confessor, the lordship of Culinges was in   the possession of earl Leofwyne, sixth son of earl Godwin,   who was slain in the battle of Hastings, fighting on the   behalf of his brother, king Harold, against William duke of   Nor mandy, afterwards called the Conqueror, on his landing   in this kingdom.
Soon after the Conqueror's attaining   the crown of this realm, he gave Culinges, among other vast   possessions, to his half brother Odo, bishop of Baieux,   under the general title of whose lands it is thus described   in the survey of Domesday, taken about the 15th year of that   reign.
The   same Adam holds of the bishop (of Baieux) in Colinge, one   suling and an half. The arable land is one carucate and an   half In demesne there are two carucates and five villeins,   having half a carucate. There are four servants, and seven   acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of ten hogs. In the   time of king Edward the Confessor and afterwards it was   worth 40 shillings, now four pounds.   What Richard de Tonebrige has in his lowy is worth seven   shillings. Uluuin held it of earl Leuuin.

And   somewhat further in the same record:

The same Odo holds   Colinges of the bishop (of Baieux). It was taxed at half a   suling. The arable land is half a carucate. There is with   one borderer, and four acres of meadow. In the time of king   Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth 20 shillings, now 30 shillings. Goduin   held it of king Edward.

On the   disgrace of Odo, bishop of Baieux and earl of Kent, about   four years afterwards, these estates at Cowling, as well as   the rest of his possessions, were seised on, and became   forfeited to the crown.
In the reign of king Edward   I. Cowling was in the possession of Henry de Cobham of   Cobham, in this county. His son, John de Cobham, in the 17th   year of king Edward III. obtained a charter for free warren   within all his demesne lands within his lordship of Coulyng,   among others. In the 20th year of that reign he paid   respective aid for this manor, as one knight's fee, which   Henry de Cobham before held in Coulyng of Margery de Revers,   as she did of the king. He died possessed of this manor in   the 36th year of that reign, and was succeeded in it by his   son, John de Cobham, who in the 4th year of Richard II.   obtained licence to embattle and fortify his manor house,   which he then erected here, (fn. 2) which grant he caused to   be engraved on a tablet, and placed on a tower at the   entrance of it, where it still remains visible; the words   are engraved on brass, in antient characters, as follows:


It is made in imitation of a deed or charter, with his   seal of arms appendant, and is fixed on the eastern tower of   the gate-house. And henceforward this mansion acquired the   name of Cowling-castle; at which time it appears, there was   then a large park adjoining to it. He died possessed of this   manor and castle in the 9th year of king Henry IV. leaving   Joane, his grand daughter (viz. daughter of Joane his   daughter, by Sir John de la Pool) his next heir, and wife of   Sir Nicholas Hawberk, whom she had married on the decease of   Sir Reginald Braybrook, her former husband. She afterwards   married Sir John Oldcastle, who in her right possessed this   estate, and on account of his marriage with her, assumed the   title of lord Cobham, and had summons to parliament   accordingly; but in the next reign, engaging with others in   a conspiracy, he was tried for it, condemned and executed,   in the 6th year of king Henry V. being at the time of his   death possessed, jointly, with Joane his wife of this manor   and castle.
The story of Sir John Oldcastle's being   accused of heresy, before Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Can   terbury, and the proceedings had on it, are related in Fox's   Acts and Monuments. (fn. 3) Sir John Oldcastle, on this   accusation of heresy, betook himself to his castle of   Cowling, as to a place of strength and security; before   which the person sent with a citation from the archbishop   appearing, desired leave of him to enter and serve the same,   but was refused; on which, not daring to enter without the   owner's good will, he returned without performing his   errand. After the execution of Sir John Oldcastle, Joane his   wife surviving him, became again possessed of this manor and   castle, together with the advowson of the church of Cowling,   and the rest of the estates of her inheritance; of which she   died possessed in the 12th year of king Henry VI. She was   then the wife of John Harpden, who, if he was living, did   not possess this or any other of her estates after her   death, for her only daughter and heir Joane, by her second   husband, Sir Gerard Braybrooke above mentioned, then   entitled her husband, Sir Thomas Brooke, of Somersetshire,   to them who was in her right lord Cobham, though he never   received summons to parliament. His descendant, Sir George   Brooke, lord Cobham, resided at times both here and at   Cobham; during whose time, Sir Tho. Wyatt, in the 1st year   of queen Mary, marched with six pieces of cannon to this   castle, which finding too strong to take, after having broke   down the gate and part of the wall, and having had some   discourse with the lord Cobham, who was in it, he marched   next night to Gravesend. He died in 1558, and by his will   gave to Anne his wife all his household stuff at   Cowling-castle. His son and heir, Sir William Brooke, lord   Cobham, at his death, in the 39th year of queen Elizabeth,   by his will gave this estate to his second son, George   Brooke, esq. who being engaged with his brother, Henry lord   Cobham, and others, in a conspiracy, was attainted of high   treason, in the 1st year of king James I. and executed, upon   which his estates became forfeited to the crown, and were   confirmed to it by an act passed in the 3d year of that   reign. After which, king James, of his royal bounty,   restored the manor, castle, and advowson, of Cowling, to his   son William, then an infant, afterwards made a knight of the   Bath; who died possessed of them about the year 1668. He was   twice married; first to Penelope, daughter of Henry lord   Dacre, by whom he left no issue; and secondly to Penelope,   daughter of Sir Moses Hill, by whom he left issue four   daughters, his coheirs; viz. Pembroke, married to Matthew   Tomlinson, esq. Hill to Sir William Boothby, bart. of   Broadlow Ash, in Derbyshire; Margaret to Sir John Denham, K.   B. and Frances to Sir Thomas Whitmore, K. B. who in right of   their wives became joint proprietors of this estate. Soon   after which, Sir John Denham and Margaret his wife died   without issue, on which her share descended to her three   sisters, and their husbands, who in their right then became   each of them possessed of a third part of it.
In the   year 1669, Mathew Tomlinson, Sir William Boothby, and Sir   Thomas Whitmore, made a division of this estate, excepting   the advowson, into three equal parts, by deed, under their   hands and seals; in which partition COWLING-LODGE, and   certain lands adjoining, were allotted to Matt. Tomlinson;   Newbarn, and lands adjoining, to Sir William Boothby; and   the CASTLE, and other lands, to Sir Tho. Whitmore; and it   was agreed between them, that all royalties, privileges, and   liberties belonging to the manor, should be equally divided   among them; after which, COWLING-LODGE, with the estate   belonging to it, was sold after Tomlinson's death by his   heirs, to Tho. Farrington, esq. of Chesilhurst; whose   descendant of the same name, alienated it to Mr. Jacob   Harvey, of Islington; and his descendant, Samuel Clay Har   vey, esq. about the year 1760, built a good seat on this   estate, called Lodge-hill, from its situation on the summit   of it, intending the same for his residence, but before it   was quite finished, he alienated this estate to Mr. John   Smith, since deceased; whose brother, Mr. Tho. Smith, is the   present possessor of it.
NEW-BARN ,   with the estate belonging to it, was conveyed by Sir William   Boothby and Hill his wife, to Samuel Clay, merchant of   London, from whom it passed in marriage to Harvey, whose   descendant, Samuel Clay Harvey, esq. died possessed of it in   1791, and his nephew, Jacob Harvey, is the present owner of   it.
COWLING-CASTLE, with the   estate belonging to it, was alienated by Sir Thomas Whitmore   to Frederick Herne, esq. who passed it away by sale to Mr.   Thomas Best, of Chatham, whose grandson, Thomas Best, esq.   of Chilston, died possessed of it in 1795, s. p .   and gave it by his will to his nephew, George Best, esq. now   of Chilston, the present owner of it.

The   ruins of the castle or mansion shew it to have been a place   of some strength. There are great parts of the towers and   outward walls of it remaining; it was a square building,   having a most round it, which is now almost choaked up. At a   small distance southeastward from the castle, and entirely   independent of it, is a handsome gatehouse, flanked by two   round towers and embattled, having a portcullis to let down.   Through this gate was the approach to the castle, as it is   at present to the farm-house.
IN THE YEAR 961, queen   Ediva, mother of king Edmund and king Eadred, gave to the   church of Christ, in Canterbury, her land in Culinge, free   from all secular service, excepting that of repelling   invasions, and the repairing of bridges and castles; and   king Edward II. in his 10th year, granted to the priory of   Christ church free warren in all their demesne lands in this   parish, among others therein mentioned.
The   parish of Cowling has the right of nomination to one place   in the New College of Cobham, for one poor person,   inhabitant of this parish; at the election of which one,   such as by the ordinances of the said college have power to   choose for this parish, nominate and choose two such poor   persons, out of which two, the baron of Cobham for the time   being is to select and present one, to be admitted and   placed there; and if the parish of Shorne makes default in   electing, then the benefit of such election devolves to this   parish.
HENRY WHITE, of Chalk, near Gravesend, who   lies buried in St. Mary's church, in the hundred of Hoo,   left an annual sum of money to the poor of this parish.
COWLING is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Rochester. The church is dedicated to St. James.

In the chancel of it, on a stone, are two brass plates, arms in a canton, a   falcon volant with bells, for Sybell, daughter of Gilbert   Thurston, of London, the wife of Nathaniel Sparks, rector of   this church 28 years, obt. 1639; in the east window these   arms, gules, a chevron, or, and in the south window two   coats, gules three lions passant guardant, or, and gules a   fess fufillee, or. In   the nave , near the   pulpit, a brass, with the figure of a woman, for Feyth   Brook, daughter of Sir John Brook, lord of Cobham, obt.   1508; another brass for Thomas Woodyear, gent. of Cooling,   who married Mary, daughter of William Linch, gent. and had   one son and three daughters, obt. 1611.
The church of   Cowling paid an annual pension of 6s. 8d. to the priory of   Rochester, on account of the tithes which had been given to   it, in this parish, by Ralph, the butler of Eudo, (pincerna   Eudonis) soon after the   conquest, in pure and perpetual alms, being the tithes of   his demesne field, called Westbrooke, which gift was   confirmed by his descendant, Adam, butler, (pincerna)   so that Richard, his brother, parson of this church, and his   successors, should pay yearly to the monks there half a marc   of silver, and it was confirmed likewise by bishop Gundulph,   who allotted the above pension for their cloathing, (fn. 4)   and it was confirmed to them by several of his successors.
This pension, at the dissolution of the priory in the   32d year of king Henry VIII. came to the crown, and was   granted by that king, by his dotation charter, next year, to   his new founded dean and chapter of Rochester, to whom it   continues still to be paid.
The patronage of the   church of Cowling, about the reign of king John, seems to   have belonged to the before-mentioned family named Pincerna,   or Butler, at which time Adam Pincerna, or Butler, had the   right of presentation to it. How long they possessed it, I   do not find; but before the middle of the reign of king   Edward I. it was come into the family of Cobham, and   afterwards continued to have the same proprietors as the   manor of Cowling had till the division of it in 1669,   between Mathew Tomlinson, esq. Sir William Boothby, and Sir   Thomas Whitmore. After which, the right of presenting to   this church became vested in each of them, and their   respective heirs alternately, in succession, as they are   mentioned before.
Mathew Tomlinson's turn passed,   with Cowlinglodge, to Farrington, and thence to Harvey, and   afterwards to Mr. John Smith, who sold it to the Rev. Mr.   Hopkins Fox, of Linsted, whose son, John Hopkins Fox, sold   it to Mr. Thomas Smith, of Stroud, the present owner of it.
Sir William Boothby's turn was excepted out of the sale   of New barn to Samuel Clay, and after his death descended to   William Boothby, esq. (eldest son of Sir William, by his   second wife, Hill Brooke, who on the death of his   half-brother, Sir Henry, became his heir to both title and   estates) and on his death it came to his next brother,   Brooke Boothby, esq. of Ashbornehall, in Derbyshire, who, in   1748, conveyed his third turn of presentation to John Unwin,   gent. of the Inner Temple, and he in 1757, conveyed his   interest in it to Mr. George Gordon, wine-merchant, of   Rochester, who by his will, in 1760, devised it to his son,   William Gordon, esq. who alienated it to the Rev. Mr. Thomas   Ashcroft, clerk, who died possessed of it in 1768, after   which it was sold to the Rev. Mr. Hopkins Fox   before-mentioned; whose son, John H. Fox, sold it to Mr.   Thomas Smith, of Stroud, the present proprietor of it.
Sir Thomas Whitmore's turn passed with Cowlingcastle to   Herne, and thence to Best, whose grandson, Thomas Best, esq.   of Chilston, died possessed of it in 1795, and by his will   gave it to his nephew, George Best, esq. now of Chilston,   the present patron of this third turn of presentation to   this rectory.
This church, in the 15th year of king   Edward I. was valued at twenty marcs. (fn. 5) The rectory is   valued in the king's books at fourteen pounds, and the   tenths at 1l. 8s. (fn. 6) It appears by the survey of it   taken by order of the state in the year 1650, that it was   then valued at seventy pounds. (fn. 7) It is now worth, with   nine acres of glebe land, upwards of 200l. per annum.

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