Frindsbury - Cliffe History

Go to content
Frindsbury by Edward Hasted

 1797 AD


SOUTHWARD from Cowling lies FRINDS BURY, called in antient charters, Freondesbyri.   It was likewise calledÆslingham, alias Frindsbury, from the   manor of that name in this parish.

THE PARISH is situated adjoining to the river Medway, partly towards   the south, and wholly eastward, it is near five miles from   north to south, though not more than half as much in breath,   the surface of it is a continued hill and dale, though it is   in general high ground, the soil is various, but the hills   are mostly chalk, the dales a loamy soil, and towards Hoo a   stiff clay, all for the most part sertile corn land. The   village adjoins to the town of Stroud on the north side,   seemingly as part of it, from whence the ground rises pretty   high to the summit of the hill on which the church stands,   on the opposite side of the river to the city of Rochester,   from which it is a conspicuous object. At the north end of   the street of Frindsbury the road branches off on the left   hand to Cliff and Higham, and strait forward leads on to the   Hundred of Hoo, on which, at a mile's distance, is   Wainscott, and further on Chattenden, both mentioned   hereafter; and at the north-west boundary of the parish,   next to Cliff, the manor of Æslingham. The high London road   runs along the southern part of this parish for near a mile   westward, beyond the pond called St. Thomas's watering   place, at a small distance from which, on the opposite side,   there has been a shewy house, built within these few years   by Mr. David Day, who named it Little Hermitage; a quarter   of a mile southward of the road, but nearer to Stroud, is   Read-court, beyond which this parish extends to the hamlet   called the Three Crouches, where the three parishes of   Frindbury, Higham and Cobham meet. The parish joins to the   river Medway from Stroud, along the shore opposite to   Chatham-dock, where, on the hill is a house called the   Quarry-house, having a beautiful view over the river, the   town, dock-yard, and adjoining country, and till it joins   the parish of Hoo, about half a mile below Upnor-castle   northward, all along between the river and the hill are   large quantities of falt marshes, overflowed at every high   tide.

UPNOR-CASTLE is situated a   small distance below Chatham-dock, on the opposite shore to   it. It is a stone building, and was erected by queen   Elizabeth, in her 3d year, for the desence of the river; but   now, and indeed for many years past, there has not been a   gun mounted in it for service, nor yet a platform.

In the castle there is a magazine of powder, for   the use of the navy, &c. for the security of which, here is   an establishment of a governor, store-keeper, clerk of the   cheque, a master-gunner, twelve other gunners, &c. There is   likewise an officer's guard of soldiers, on detachment,   which, with the rest of the forts on this river, excepting   Sheerness, are under the command of the governor of   Upnor-castle. One of these is the fort once called The   Swamp, now The Birdsnest; but there has not been a gun   mounted on it within remembrance, and the embrasures of   earth have been long since mouldered away, and over-run with   bushes and brambles. Another of them, called Cockhamwood   fort, about a mile below on the same side the Medway, is yet   to be seen; but with all the guns dismounted, and thrown by   on the ground, the shot, &c. lying in the master-gunner's   house just by, which, as well as the fort, is become very   ruinous. The gift of the master-gunner's place, usually some   invalid, is in the master-general of the ordnance; besides   whom there is a quarter-gunner belonging to this fort.
Hooness-fort, commonly called The Folly, is situated   still lower down on the same side the river, where there are   no guns mounted; but there is a master-gunner from   Upnor-castle, who lives at it for a week at a time, a boat   being allowed for the transporting each gunner, and his   provisions, weekly from Upnor-castle for the service of the   navy. As to Gillingham-castle, on the opposite side the   river, an account of it will be given in its proper place.
The south tower of Upnor-castle is allowed to the   governor for his house, at which, on account of its   unsitness for his reception, he never resides; but there are   near the castle very good barracks, in which the gunners,   soldiers, and officer commanding on the sport, are well   accommodated. There is likewise a good storekeeper's house   and gardens.
The honorable general James Murray was   appointed governor of Upnor-castle in 1775, in the room of   major-general William Deane, deceased, and on his   preferment, captain William Browne succeeded in 1778, and   resigned in 1784, on being appointed lieutenantgovernor of   Guernsey. Colonel Jeffry Amherst is the present governor.
In the reign of king Edward I. on occasion of a long   drought, the monks of Rochester set out to go in procession   to Frindsbury, to pray for rain; but the day appointed   proving very windy, they apprehended their lights would be   blown out, their banners tossed about, and their order much   discomposed; they desired leave therefore of the master of   Stroud hospital to pass through the orchard of his house;   who thinking it of no consequence, gave leave, without the   consent of his brethren. They understanding this, and   remembering, that the hospital was of the foundation of   Gilbert, sometime bishop of Rochester, whom the monks   predecessors had resisted in the erection of it, and fearing   these would attempt an injury to their privileges, having   hired a company of ribalds, armed with clubs and bats,   waylaid them in the orchard, assaulted, beat, and put them   to flight. After which though the monks desisted from going   that way, yet they obliged the men of Frindsbury to come   yearly on Whit-Monday in procession, with their clubs, to   Rochester, as a pennance for their crime. Hence came the   bye-word of Frindsbury-clubs, and most probably the custom   which the boys of Rochester and Strood had, of meeting on   Mayday yearly, on the bridge of Rochester with clubs, and   there skirmishing with each other. (fn. 1)
This   parish ought antiently, with others in this neighbourhood,   to have contributed to the repair of the first pier of   Rochester-bridge.

FRINDSBURY , with   its appendages, Æslingham, Bromheye, Chatindone, Thornden,   &c. was given to the church of Rochester by the several   reigning kings during the Saxon heptarchy, between the years   764 and 789, of whom Offa, king of the Mercians, was the   chief benefactor, who gave to it twenty plough lands, lying   in Æslingham, by which name this parish seems at that time   to have been described. (fn. 2)
These estates were   wrested from the church of Rochester in the troublesome   times, which soon after followed by reason of the Danish   wars. They came afterwards into the possession of Harold,   and on the accession of William the Conqueror, were given by   him among other estates to Odo, bishop of Baieux, his half   brother, but archbishop Lanfranc recovered them again, in   the solemn assembly held at Pinenden-health, in 1076, (fn.   3) and afterwards restored them to bishop Gundulph, and the   church of St. Andrew; which gift was afterwards confirmed by   archbishop Anselm, and by several of his successors,   archbishops of Canterbury.
In the general survey of   Domesday, Frindsbury is thus described under the title of   Terra Epi Rovecestre, i. e. the lands of the bishop of   Rochester, as follows:
The same bishop (of   Rochester) holds Frandesberie It was taxed in the time of   king Edward the Confessor at 10 sulings, and now at seven.   The arable land is 15 carucates. In demesne there are 5   carucates, and 40 villeins, with 28 borderers, having 11   carucates. There is a church and 9 servants, and 1 mill of   12 shillings, and 40 acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage   of 5 bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and   afterwards, it was worth 8 pounds, and now 25 pounds. What   Richard held in his lowy was worth 10 shillings.
And a little further in the same survey:
In   Rochester the bishop had, and yet has, four and twenty plats of ground, which belong to Frandesberie and Borestale, his   own manors. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and   afterwards, they were worth three pounds, now they are worth   eight pounds, and yet they yield yearly eleven pounds, and   thirteen shillings and four pence.
Gundulph,   bishop of Rochester, who was elected to that see in the time   of the Conqueror, having after the example of archbishop   Lanfranc, divided the revenues of his church between himself   and the convent, (fn. 4) allotted the manor of Frindsbury,   with its appendages, to the share of the monks, and it was   confirmed to the church of Rochester, and the monks there,   by king Henry I. king Stephen and king Henry II. and by   several archbishops of Canterbury, and bishops of Rochester.
On bishop Gilbert de Glanvill's coming to the see of   Rochester in 1185, the bishop claimed this manor, with its   appendages, among other premises given to them by bishop   Gundulph, as belonging to the maintenance of his table, to   which the monks were at last forced to submit. In   consequence of which, though he wrested the advowson of the   church of Frindsbury from them, yet they continued in   possession of the manor, with its appendages, till the   dissolution of the priory in the reign of king Henry VIII.
In the 7th year of king Edward I. the bishop of   Rochester claimed certain liberties by the grant of king   Henry I. in all his lands and fees; and others by antient   custom, in the lands of the priory in Frendesberi, as well   as in all other lands belonging to the church. All which   were then allowed him by the jury. (fn. 5) As they were   likewise in the 21st year of that reign, and in the 7th year   of king Edward II. to Thomas de Woldham, bishop of   Rochester; and they were confirmed by letters of inspeximus,   granted by king Edward III. July 13, in his 30th year. (fn.   6)
In the 21st year of the same reign, upon a quo war   ranto, the prior of Rochester claimed that he and his   predecessors had in the manor of Frendesbery, &c. view of   frank-pledge, and all matters belonging to it, from beyond   memory; and that these liberties had been used without   interruption. All which were allowed by the jury, &c.
That, as to pleas of the crown, a market, fair, gallows,   and other liberties in this parish, he neither had, nor did   ever claim them; and as to free-warren, he claimed it by   grant of king Henry I. and said that he and his predecessors   had the same in this and other pa rishes from the time of   the said grant. But the jury sound, that neither he nor they   had used it in this parish; therefore it was determined,   that it should remain without the liberty of it.
King   Edward I. by his charter, in his 23d year, granted to the   prior and convent of Rochester, freewarren in all their   demesne lands of this manor; so that no one should enter on   them, either to hunt, or to take any thing which belonged to   warren, without the licence and good will of them and their   successors, on the forfeiture of ten pounds. (fn. 7)
In the 15th year of king Edward I. this manor, with its   appendages, Strode, Chetyndone, and Rede, was taxed at 24l.   6s. 8d. which latter was antiently called La Rede, and in   the time of the Saxons Hreodham.
On the dissolution   of the priory of Rochester, in the 32d year of king Henry   VIII. the manor of Frindsbury, with its appendages, the   manors of Chatindon and Rede-court, and other premises in   this parish, were surrendered, with the other possessions of   it, into the king's hands, who presently after, in his 33d   year, settled the manor of Frindsbury and Rede-court, with   other premises in this parish, on his new-founded dean and   chapter of Rochester, with whom the inheritance of them   continue at this time.
The lessee of the manor of   Frindsbury is Philip Boghurst, esq. whose father of the same   name erected the commodious and substantial court-lodge,   situated near the church, and the lessee of the manor of   Redecourt is Mr. John Boghurst, of Stroud.

THE MANOR OF ÆSLINGHAM becoming part of the   possessions of the church of Rochester, as beforementioned,   was afterwards given by Gundulph, bishop of it, to Godfrey   Talbot, but he reserved the whole tithes of it to the use of   his monks. After which, this manor came into the family of   St. Clere.
John, bishop of Rochester, about the time   of king Stephen, dedicated the chapel of Heslingham in honor   of St. Peter, and endowed it with all liberties and customs,   which it had from the time of bishop Gundulph, his   predecessor, from the gifts made by Hugh de St. Clere and   his family, and from the tithes of all his demesnes of the   land, which he held of the fee of the bishop of Rochester,   at the time the chapel was dedicated, from which lands the   monks of the church of Rochester had yearly ten shillings,   which were received by those who had the care of the manor   of Frindsbury; and the mother church of the manor had   likewise yearly thirty sheaves of wheat, thirty of barley,   and thirty of oats, on account of the sepulture of the   servants, who should die of the family of Hugh   before-mentioned, or his heirs; but if the lord of   Eselingham, his wife, his son, or his daughter should die,   and be brought to the mother church of St. Andrew, although   the profits of his chapel should be lessened by it, they   should be buried there. And the bishop further granted, that   the lord of Eselingham should freely have such chaplain as   he thought fit in his house, to maintain at his own table,   in like manner as it was known to be in the time of   Gundulph, Ralph, Ernulf, and John, bishops of Rochester, and   at the time of the dedication.
In the reign of king   Edward I. the same John de St. Clere held this manor, as one   knight's fee, of the bishop of Rochester. (fn. 8) After   which William de Brampton and Alicia de Eselyngham held it,   and their heirs paid respective aid for it, as one knight's   fee, in the 20th year of king Edward III.
William de   Halden died possessed of this manor in the 51st year of that   reign. After which it came into the family of Neal, who had   good estates about Higham, and from thence into that of   Rykeld, or Rikhill, as the name came afterwards to be spelt;   one of whom, John Rikhill, held his shrievalty at his   manor-house of Eslingham, in the 3d year of king Henry VI.   bearing for his arms, gules, two bars argent, between three   annulets, or. (fn. 9) His descendant, Thomas Rikhill,   alienated it to R. Frogenhall, whose heir passed it away by   sale to Audley, and Fisher, and they sold it to Sir Thomas   Cromwell, who was afterwards, anno 27 king Henry VIII. for   his services in the suppression of the religious houses,   created lord Cromwell, of Okeham, in Rutlandshire. He was   the son of a blacksmith, at Putney, in Surry, and had been a   common soldier under the duke of Bourbon, at the sacking of   Rome; on his return home, he was entertained in the service   of cardinal Wolsey, to whom he proved so acceptable for his   dexterous management of particular matters, which the   cardinal had then in hand, that he raised him from   obscurity, and paved the way for his attaining those great   and eminent dignities and titles he afterwards possessed. In   the 23d year of king Henry VIII. which was after the   cardinal's disgrace, he was made a privy-counsellor, and   master of the jewel-house, the next year clerk of the   hanaper, and in the 26th year of king Henry VIII. principal   secretary of state, and master of the rolls. After which,   for his artful management in the dissolution of the   monasteries, in which he was the chief agent, he was made   keeper of the privy seal, and soon after created lord   Cromwell, as above-mentioned. (fn. 10)
After which,   though a layman, he was constituted the king's   vicar-general, over all spiritualties under himself, and   afterwards obtained from the king large and extensive grants   of the lands late belonging to several religious houses. In   the 31st year of the same reign, he procured his lands in   this county to be disgavelled by act of parliament, and was   further ad vanced to the dignity of earl of Essex, and   quickly after knight of the garter, and lord high   chamberlain of England.
But this hasty rise to so   high a pinnacle of honor was as suddenly succeeded by his   ruin; for next year on the king's displeasure, on account of   his having been the chief adviser of his marriage with the   lady Ann of Cleves, he was arrested at the council-table,   and committed to the tower, and being convicted of high   treason, he was condemned unheard, and almost unpitied, and   beheaded on Tower-hill. (fn. 11)
On his attainder the   manor of Eslingham came to the crown, at which time it   consisted of the mansion and buildings, with the demesne   lands, a fishery on the river Medway, and the rectory of   Islingham, with all tithes of corn, oblations and emoluments   belonging to it, parcel of the manor; the fee of all which   continued in the crown till queen Elizabeth granted it to   Sir William Drury, of Norfolk, one of whose descendants, in   the reign of king Charles I. alienated it to Henry Clerke,   esq. serjeant at law, and recorder of Rochester; whose   descendant, Gilbert Clerke, esq. of Derbyshire, alienated it   to Mr. Thomas Best, of Chatham, whose son, Mawdistly Best,   esq. died possessed of it in 1744, and by his will devised   this manor to his second son, Mr. James Best, of Chatham,  who died in 1782, and his eldest son, Thomas Best, esq. of   Boxley, is the present owner of it.

THE ESTATE,   called BROMHEY , or Bromgeheg, mentioned   before to have been given to the church of Rochester, in the   time of the Saxon heptarchy, was the gift of Egeberht, king   of Kent, in the years 778 and 779, which was confirmed   afterwards by Offa, king of Mercia, and was said to be   situated within the limits of the castle, called   Hrosecaester, having on the east, Wuodafleet, and on the   north a marsh called Scaga, which the water of Jaenlade   surrounded. (fn. 12) This estate seems afterwards to have   been divided. Part of it remained, as appears by different   records in the possession of the bishop of Rochester, for   Richard de Greenstreet, in consideration of one marc   sterling, granted to Thomas, bishop of Rochester, and his   successors, certain land in the manor of Bromhei, adjoining   to the bishop's barn there, (fn. 13) and in the year 1337,   bishop Hamo de Hethe repaired, at great expence, his grange   at Brumheye. (fn. 14)
Another part of this estate was   granted to the family of Cobham, of Cobham, in this   neighbourhood, by the bishop of Rochester, to hold of him   and his successors, and a third part was in the possession   of the prior and convent of Rochester, as appears by the   Book of Aid taken in the 20th year of king Edward III. at   which time Sir John de Cobham, and the prior of Rochester,   held half a knight's fee in Bromhege.
Sir John de   Cobham held his part of the bishop of Rochester as   before-mentioned, and his descendant, John, lord Cobham,   died possessed of it, by the name of the manor of Bromhei,   in the 9th year of king Henry IV. since which I imagine this   estate, which has for many years lost its antient name, has   passed, in like manner as Cobham-hall, to the right   honorable John, earl of Darnley, part of whose possessions   in this parish it now remains.
It appears by the   Textus Roffensis, that there was once a chapel at this   place, bishop Thomas de Woldham, by his will, in 1316,   bequeathed to the poor of this chapel of Bromhei eight   marcs.

CHATTENDEN is an estate in   this parish, which was once accounted an appendage to the   manor of Frindsbury, and was as such given with it to the   church of Rochester, in the time of the Saxon heptarchy, and   re mained part of the possessions of the priory at its   dissolution in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. when this   manor, with the rest of the possessions of the priory was   surrendered into the king's hands, who that year granted the   manor of Chattenden, and its appurtenances, to Sir George   Brooke, lord Cobham, since which it has descended in like   manner as Cobham-hall, and the rest of the late duke of   Richmond's estates, which in this parish consisted of 650   acres of land, to the right honorable John, earl of Darnley,   the present owner of it.
William de Hoo, prior of St.   Andrew's, Rochester, having for two years endured much ill   usage, for not consenting to alienate the wood of   Chetindone, changed his habit and died a monk at Woborne.   (fn. 15)
Luke de Hores, with the consent of his   heirs, granted to the prior and convent of Rochester, to the   increase of their manor of Frindsbury, land at Chetingdune,   called the land of Eilric Bishop. In exchange for which they   granted to him four acres of meadow in Stodbroc, adjoining   in length against the ditch of Stroud-hospital.

GODDINGTON, alias Waltons, but more   properly Wattons, is an estate, lying partly in this parish,   and partly in Stroud, which, as appears by the escheat   rolls, was once reputed a manor. In the 20th year of king   Edward III. Simon Godyngton paid aid for this manor as half   a knight's fee, which Alan de Godyngton before held in   Frindsbury and Stroud, of Jeffry de Scoland, and he of the   earl of Leicester. This estate seems afterwards to have been   divided, part of it comprehending the manor and part of the   demesne lands lying in the parish of Strood, came into the   possession of the priory of Rochester, as will be further   mentioned under that parish, and the other part, which   included the mansion, with part of the demesne lands   situated near Frindsbury church, came afterwards into the   family of Charles, one of whom, Robert Charles, had been   possessed of land about Hilden, in Tunbridge, and was   bailiff of the forest there to Robert de Clare, earl of   Gloucester, in the reign of king Edward I. (fn. 16) In this   name it continued down to Richard Charles, of Addington; who   dying without male issue, in the 11th year of king Richard   II. his two daughters, Alice, wife of William Snaith,   descended from William de Snaith, chancellor of the   exchequer in the reign of king Edward III. and Joane, wife   of Richard Ormeskirk, became his coheirs.
On the   division of their inheritance, this estate became the   property of William Snaith, who was in his wife's right   possessor of Addington, and afterwards sheriff of Kent in   the 9th year of king Henry IV. He died possessed of it in   1409, leaving Alice, his sole daughter and heir, married to   Robert Watton, esq. who thenceforward resided at Addington,   in her right. His descendants continued in possession of   Goddington, holding it of the king, as of his duchy of   Lancaster, by knights service, (fn. 17) till William Watton,   esq. of Addington, in the reign of king Charles II.   alienated it to Francis Barrell, esq. serjeant at law, and   recorder of the city of Rochester, who bore for his arms,   Ermine, on a chief sable three talbots heads erased of the   field.
He was elected to serve in parliament for the   city of Rochester, in the 31st year of king Charles II. and   dying in 1679, was buried in Rochester cathedral, as were   his several descendants. By Anne Somer, his wife, who died   in 1707, he left three sons; Francis his heir, of whom   hereafter; Henry, who was chapter clerk to the dean and   chapter of Rochester, and died in 1754 unmarried; and   Edmund, who was prebendary of Rochester, &c. and died in   1765.
Francis Barrell, esq. the son and heir, was of   Rochester, which city he represented in the last parliament   of king William's reign. He died in 1724, leaving by Anne   Kitchell, his wife, who died before him in 1717, one son and   heir, Francis, and four daughters; Anne, who died unmarried   in 1780, and Catherine, who married Josiah Marshall, esq.   Frances, wife of Mr. John Page, and Elizabeth, wife of the   Rev. William Louth, prebendary of Winchester, and elder   brother to the late bishop of London. Francis Barrell, esq.   the son, married first, Anne, daughter of Thomas Pearse,   esq. of Rochester, by whom he left two surviving daughters,   who will be further mentioned hereafter; secondly, Frances,   daughter of Thomas Bowdler, esq. who died in 1736; and   thirdly, Frances, daughter and at length coheir of William   Hanbury, esq. of Herefordshire, by whom only he had one son,   Francis, who died before him, æt. 17, in 1755; so that his   two daughters, by his first wife, who survived him, became   his coheirs, viz. Anne, married to the Rev. Francis   Dodsworth, vicar of Doddington, in this county, treasurer of   Salisbury, and prebendary of York, &c. and Catherine,   married to the Rev. Frederick Dodsworth, brother of the   former.
But this estate of Goddington was devised by   the will of Mr. Serjeant Barrell, who died in 1679, to his   second son, Mr. Henry Barrell, who dying unmarried in 1754,   gave it by will to his nephew, Francis Barrell, esq. for his   life, with remainder to his niece, Catherine, wife of Josiah   Marshall, esq. and her heirs for ever. Her eldest son, the   Rev. Edmund Marshall, vicar of Charing, sold it in 1780 to   Mr. Thomas Ayres, who rebuilt the house, and dying in 1796,   gave it by will to his niece, Mary Anne Hopkins, who sold it   to George Gunning, esq. the present possessor of it.

THE MANOR OF WAINSCOT, alias   Parlabiens-yoke, was antiently the estate of a family of the   name of Parlabien, who in the reign of king Edward II. had   possessions both here and at Kedbrook by Charlton, in this   county. Soon after which it came to the Colepepers, of   Aylesford, in which family it continued till Sir Thomas   Colepeper, about the end of queen Elizabeth's reign,   alienated it to Edward Randolph, whose heir sold it to   Somers, of St. Margaret's, Rochester, who was descended from   William Somer, chancellor of the exchequer in the reign of   king Henry VI. and possessed much land in the hundred of   Hoo. They bore for their arms, Vert, a fess dancette ermine.
His son, in the reign of king Charles I. alienated it to   Mr. Robinson, (fn. 18) of Rochester, whence it passed by   sale to Mr. Henry Golding, of Upper Halling, whose heirs   sold this manor to Francis Brooke, esq. of Town Malling, who   died in 1782, and by his will gave it to his nephew Joseph   Brooke, esq. of Town Malling, and he sold it to the Rev.   Edward Holme, as he did to Mr. John Boghurst, the present   owner of it. There is a court-leet and court-baron held for   this manor.
There was an estate in this parish called THORNDEN, or Thornindune, which was held of   the manor of Frindsbury, by the wife of Robert Latimer.
The monks of St. Andrew's claimed the reversion of this   estate at her death, but she affirmed that the inheritance   of it belonged to her kindred. However, before her death,   she gave it up, with all that she had upon it, to the monks,   to be possessed by them for ever, placing at the same time   the grant of it from bishop Gundulph, on the altar of St.   Andrew, for which the monks gave her sixty shillings, and   promised her besides, food and cloathing so long as she   should live, food from the celerer, as much as for one monk,   and one dish of flesh four days in the week; and cloathing   from the chamberlain, honorable, such as became her age and   person, and to such man and maid servant, as she should   have, such food as the rest of the servants of the church   had; and further, they gave her twenty shillings yearly to   pay their wages, and cloath them, and procure other   necessaries for herself, and when she died the convent   agreed, that they would bury her, and keep her anniversary   yearly.

ROBERT   GUNSLEY, and the PARISH OF FRINDSBURY, jointly purchased by   deed in 1632, a mill and twenty-seven acres of land in Hoo,   from the yearly produce of which the yearly sum of 1l. 13s.   to be applied to the repairs of the church, the remainder to   the poor in bread, vested in the minister and overseers, of   the annual produce of 5l. 10s.
PHILIP STAINES gave by   will, to be laid out in bread, lands vested as above, and of   the annual produce of 3l. 2s.
JOHN WOODGGRENE gave,   to be laid out in bread, lands and tenements, vested as   above, and of the annual produce of 5l. 10s. but subject to   repairs.
RICHARD WATSON gave by will, to be divided   among twelve of the poorest persons in the parish, a   tenement, vested as above, of the annual produce of 9l.   subject to repairs.
A PERSON UNKNOWN, gave seven   acres of land in this parish, the rent accruing from which   has always been expended in repairing the church.
BOWHAM PENNISTONE gave an acre of land near Upnor, towards   the same use.

THE RENT of the Green, containing one   acre, was given to repair the church.
FRINDSBURY is   within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and   deanry of Rochester.
At the time of Gundulph's coming   to the see of Rochester, anno 1075, there was no church   here, but there was not long afterwards one built of stone   by Paulinus, sacrist of the church of Rochester, (fn. 19)   who ornamented it with books, vestments, &c.
The   present church of Frindsbury, which however bears no marks   of any deep antiquity, is dedicated to All Saints. It   consists of two isles and a chancel, with a spire steeple at   the west end, in which is a peal of five bells and a small   one. Richard Young, bishop of Rochester, in king Henry the   Vth's reign, caused several windows to be made in this   church, and when Lambarde wrote his perambulation, the   picture of this prelate was remaining in one of the windows.   The font is a curious piece of gothic architecture.
Among other monuments and inscriptions in this church are   the following:—In the chancel, on the north wall, a monument   for William Watson, gent. and Rose his wife, the parents of   Robert Watson, esq. also Katherine-Rebecca. Joane, Mary and   Isabella, wives of the said Robert, placed here by the son   and husband in 1673, above, the arms of Watson, Barry of six   argent and gules, three crescents ermine on a chief of the   second, two tilt spears, their heads broken off in faltier,   or, and the same with impalements; a memorial, having sable,   an eagle displayed, or, on a chief azure, bordered argent, a   chevron between two crescents above, and a rose below, or,   for Robert Mynors, esq. governor of Upnor-castle, obt. 1694.   In the nave, memorials for the Fowlers, Couchman, Kidwells,   Grangers, Almonds, Nash, and others. In the south isle, a   monument, with azure, a dolphin imbowed argent, naiant,   argent between three escallop shells, or, for Henry Needler,   gent, obt. 1661; another for Robert Oliver, gent. obt. 1666;   on the west wall a monument for Thomas Butler, who served   queen Elizabeth in England, France and Spain, &c. anno 1621,   Dennis, his wife, anno 1607, and Margaret, his wife, 1617.   (fn. 20)
John, bishop of Rochester, in the reign of   king Henry II. gave this church, together with the chapel of   Strodes belonging to it, and all lands and tithes, to the   church of St. Andrew, in Rochester, towards the finding of   lights there, and on condition that the sacrists (fn. 21) of   it should give after his death, for the good of his soul,   yearly, on the day of his anniversary, one mark of silver;   to buy bread to be distributed to the poor, which was   confirmed by pope Celestine II. with licence to appropriate   it to the use of their almonry. Walter, bishop of Rochester,   soon afterwards, in the reign of king Henry II. confirmed   this grant, together with the free disposition of the   church, and the presentation of the vicarage, but bishop   Gilbert de Glanvill, who came to the see in 1185, finding   the revenues of his bishopric impoverished by these gifts of   his predecessors to the priory, re-assumed the possession of   many of them, and though he left the monks in possession of   the appropriation of this church, yet he annexed the   advowson of the vicarage to his see again, and in 1193, the   bishop, with the consent of William, archdeacon of   Rochester, then rector of this church of Frindsbury, made   Strood an independent parochial district.
Bishop   Lawrence de St. Martin, on account of his great expences and   the slenderness of his income, in 1256, obtained from the   monks the appropriation, saving to them an annual pension of   one mark from it, (now paid to the dean and chapter) and all   tithes within the limits of it, before that time possessed   by them.
This was confirmed by the bulls of the popes   Alexander and Clement IV. and by cardinal Ottobon, the   pope's legate, who allotted it to the maintenance of the   bishop's table for ever. (fn. 22)
Bishop Gundulph, in   1091, with the assent of archbishop Anselm, had granted to   the monks of St. Andrew's, the tithes arising, as well from   the food of their cattle, as from their agriculture, within   the manor of Frindsbury, and others within his diocese, to   the use of their refectory; which gift was confirmed by   archbishop Theobald, by Ralph Prior, and the convent of   Canterbury, by Walter Gilbert, and Henry, bishops of   Rochester, &c. which latter further granted to them the   small tithes, together with the other tithes arising from   their manors and demesnes in Frindsbury, and their other   manors within his diocese, according to former custom. All   which was confirmed by Richard, bishop of Rochester, in   1280, who at the same time, at the instance of the prior and   convent of Rochester, made enquiry, by a solemn inquisition,   in what manner the monks used to retain tithes in their   manors, and in what manner they used to impart them to the   parish churches; when it was found, that the parish church   of Frindsbury was formerly endowed, in the name of a portion   of tithes, in land called Nelesfelde, parcel of the demesne   land of the manor of Frindsbury, which belonged to that   church; and that they gave yearly, in the time of harvest,   to the church in the name of tithe, one acre of wheat, one   acre of barley, and one acre of oats of middle corn; but of   wool, or the produce of the dairy, of other small tithes,   the church did not, nor had used to take any thing. But in   the grange of Chatingdone, which was a member of the manor   of Frindsbury, the church took only the whole tithe of   sheaves. At La Rede, which was a member of it likewise, the   almoner of the priory took, as had been used of antient   time, only the whole tithe of sheaves But that the church of   Frindsbury did not, nor had used to take any thing there.   And of other small tithes, as well as of the mills, and hay   in the manor of Frindsbury, and in their other manors, the   parish church did not, nor ever used to take any thing; and   he decreed, that the parish church of Frindsbury should be   content with the endowment of the aforesaid land, called   Nelesfelde, with which it remained endowed of antient time   of the demesne land of the manor, in the name of tithes, and   of the three acres of corn in the time of harvest, to be   taken as before-mentioned, and in the tithes of sheaves in   Chatingdone only; and that the monks should have and retain   for ever all other tithes, both great and small, by whatever   names they were called, in all their manors and places   within his diocese, the tithes of sheaves, &c. in each of   them, as were particularly mentioned in his instrument, only   excepted.
All which was confirmed to them, as well as   the former grants of bishops Walter, Gilbert, and Henry, by   John, archbishop of Canterbury, by inspeximus, in the year   1281. (fn. 23) In the 15th year of Edward I. this church was   valued at sixty marcs, and the vicarage at one hundred   shillings. In the 33d year of king Edward III. the church,   with the chapel of Stroud, was taxed at sixty marcs. And in   a subsequent valuation, the church of Frindsbury was valued   at one hundred marcs. In the valuation of church livings,   &c. taken in 1650, it was returned, that here was a vicarage   worth forty pounds per annum, but then sequestered; and also   one chapel, which belonged to the manor of Islingham, and   was antiently endowed with the tithes of eight score acres   of land, which paid only to the parson of the parish yearly,   three copp of wheat, three copp of barley, and three copp of   oats, and to the minister 13s. 4d. per annum, and that the   said chapel was then employed as a barn.
This   vicarage is valued in the king's books at 10l. 3s. 11 1/2d.   and the yearly tenths at 1l. 4 3/4d.
The parsonage of   Frindsbury and advowson of the vicarage, still continue part   of the possessions of the bishopric of Rochester. The   endowment of the vicarage is not extant, but the vicar by   usage, is entitled to all tithes, except those of corn and   grain. The vicarage house is situated at an inconvenient   distance from the church, and not in a very healthy   situation, there are fifteen acres of glebe land. The   register does not begin till 1669.
The family of   Watson, who bore for their arms, Barry of six argent and   gules, three crescents ermine on a chief of the second, two   tilt-spears, their heads broken off, in saltier, or, were   lessees of this parsonage many years. William, son of John   Waston, of Riverhall, in Essex, settled in this parish in   the reign of queen Elizabeth, and his descendants continued   here afterwards for more than a century. (fn. 24)
GOTCELINE DE HÆNHERSTE became a monk in the   priory of St. Andrew in Rochester, and gave to it on that   account, the half of his tithe of his land there, and in Frindsbury. (fn. 25) The portion of tithes seems to have   remained part of the possessions of the priory, at its   dissolution in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. who granted   in next year, by his dotation charter, to his new erected   dean and chapter of Rochester, with whom it now continues.
This portion of tithes is commonly called Goldock's   Portion, and arises out of certain fields in the parishes of   Frindsbury and Stroud. In 1650 these tithes were valued at   10s. and the yearly reserved rent was 2s
Back to content