Hoo - Cliffe History

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Hoo  by Edward Hasted

 1797 AD


SO CALLED from the dedication of the church, and to   distinguish it from the adjoining parish of St. Mary, Hoo,   is the principal one in this hundred, to which it gives   name. It is about two miles across each way; the soil is in   general a stiff clay and heavy tillage land, but on the hill   inclined to gravel; one half of it is marsh land, which   extends to the river Medway, its southern boundary.   Adjoining to the marshes is Hoo-street, having the church at   the south end of it, the high spire of which is a   conspicuous object to all the neighbouring country for some   miles round, on the opposite side of the Medway. There are   two other hamlets at the two extremities of the parish,   Broad-street, close to Hoo common, at the western boundary;   and at the opposite East-end. At Hoo street the ground rises   from the marshes to the high hill. The inclosures are small   and the hedge rows thick, with a continuance of high spiry   elms, and some scrubby oaks interspersed here and there, in   different places. The roads are very deep and miry, and full   of water, and the air, from its contiguity to the large   tract of marshes, very unhealthy.
In consequence of   king Richard II.'s writ to the sheriffs of Kent and Essex,   in his 1st year, one beacon was erected here at Hoo, and   another opposite, at Fobbyng, in Essex, among other places   along the banks of the river, that by the firing of them   notice might be given of any sudden attempt of the enemy.   (fn. 1) Peter Gunning, bishop of Ely, son of Peter Gunning,   vicar of this parish, was born here. He was a person of the   most diffusive charity, and a benefactor to all places he   had any relation to, and at his death gave whatever he   possessed to charitable uses, particularly the endowment of   poor vicarages; he died in 1684, and by his will bequeathed   a service of communion plate to the church of Hoo.
BEFORE the conquest, the MANOR of Hoo, ST. WARBURGH, with the court of the hundred, was in the possession of   Godwin earl of Kent, from whom it descended to king Harold,   and after the conquest was given by the Conqueror to his   half brother Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title   of whose lands it is thus entered in the general survey of   Domesday.
The bishop of Baieux himself   holds Hou in demesne. It was taxed at 50 sulings, and now at   33. The arable land is 50carucates. In demesne there are 4   and 100 villeins, wanting three, with 61 cottagers, having   43 carucates. There are 6churches, and 12 servants, and 32   acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of 30 hogs. The whole   manor, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, was worth   60 pounds, when the bishop received it the like, and now as   much, and yet he who holds it pays 100 and 13 pounds. To   this manor there belonged nine houses in the city of   Rochester, and they paid six shillings, now they are taken   away. This manor earl Godwin held. Of this manor Richard de   Tonebrige held half a suling, and wood for the pannage of 20   hogs. In the time of king Edward and afterwards it was, and   now is worth 40 shillings. Adam, son of Hubert, holds of the   same manor one suling, and one yoke of the bishop, and one   of his tenants has there in demesne half a carucate, and   four villeins with half a carucate and one cottager. It is   and was worth 30 shillings. Anschitil de Ros held of this   same manor three sulings, and he has there in demesne one   carucate and five villeins, with12 cottagers, having one   carucate and a half. There are five servants, and one mill   of ten shillings, and 12 acres of meadow, and two fisheries   of five shillings. In the time of king Edward, and   afterwards, it was worth six pounds, now six pounds and five   shillings.
On the disgrace of the bishop of   Baieux, about four years afterwards, his estates were   confiscated to the crown, and among them this of Hoo.
King Richard I. exchanged the manor and hundred with   Hugh Bardolf, for the honour of Bampton, in Devonshire,   which had been forfeited to the crown by Fulk Paganel, or   Painel, as he was usually called, to whom it had been given   by king Henry II. (fn. 2) He was a younger son of William   Bardolf, of Stoke Bardolf, and bore for his arms, Azure,   three cinquefoils pierced or, as they remain on the roof of   the cloisters of Christ church, Canterbury. He died without   issue, (fn. 3) on which this estate of Hoo became vested in   the crown, whence it was granted, anno 17 king John, to   Hubert de Burgh, (fn. 4) then chief justice of England, and   afterwards earl of Kent, on whose disgrace it seems to have   become vested in Henry Grey and Hugh Poinz, in right of   their wives, two of the five nieces and co. heirs of Robert   Bardolph above mentioned, in separate moieties.
Henry   Grey left a son, Sir Richard Grey, whose principal seat was   at Codnor, in Derbyshire, whose descendants were the barons   Grey of Codnor. One of these, John lord Grey, of Codnor,   paid respective aid for it in the 20th year of king Edward   III. as half a fee, which Henry de Grey before held in the   parish of Wereburghe in Hoo of the king. He lived to a good   old age, and dying about the 15th year of king Richard II.   was succeeded by Richard, his grandson, (son of Henry, who   died in his life time) who in the reign of king Henry IV.   purchased the other moiety of this manor, and so became   entitled to the whole fee of it.
But to return to   this other moiety, which came into the possession of Hugh   Poinz. His great grandson, Nicholas Poinz, died possessed of   it in the 1st year of king Edward I. holding it in capite,   by the service of half a knight's fee. (fn. 5) He left Hugh   Poinz, his son and heir, who had summons among the barons of   this realm, in the 23d year of king Edward I. as had   Nicholas, his son, in the next reign of king Edward II.   whose descendant, Nicholas lord Poinz, having married   Alianore, the daughter of Sir John Erleigh, died about the   middle of king Edward III.'s reign, leaving two daughters   his coheirs, Amicia, wife of John Barry, and Margaret, wife   of John Newborough. (fn. 6) They joined in the sale of this   moiety to Judd, from which name it passed in the reign of   king Henry IV. by sale, to Richard lord Grey, of Codnor, as   before mentioned, who then became possessed of the entire   fee of the manor of Hoo.
Richard lord Grey was much   in favour with king Henry IV. who conferred many great   offices on him, and employed him much, as well in war as in   civil negociations. He died in the 5th year of Henry V. it   then descended down to Henry lord Grey, who died possessed   of it in the 11th year of king Henry VII. without lawful   issue, and was buried at Aylesford, (fn. 7) under which   parish a further account of this family may be seen. Upon   which, although the manor and castle of Codnor came to   Elizabeth, his aunt and heir, wife of Sir John Zouche, a   younger son of William lord Zouch, of Haringworth, who bore   for their arms, Gules, ten bezantes; which arms, with a   canton, remain on the roof of the cloisters at Canterbury;   yet this manor of Hoo continued in the possession of the   lady Catherine Grey (afterwards remarried to Sir William de   la Pole) for the term of her life, and she died possessed of   it, as appears by the Escheat Rolls, anno 1521; after which   it devolved to Sir John Zouche above mentioned, who likewise   died possessed of it in 1529. He was succeeded in it by   Thomas Cornewall, who was possessed of it at his death, in   the 30th year of that reign, as appears by the inquisition   then taken. Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allington-castle, was the   next proprietor of this manor; and he, in the 34th year of   king Henry VIII. conveyed the hundred and lordship of Hoo,   and the manor of Little Hoo, late belonging to Boxley abbey,   (fn. 8) among other premises, to that king.
They   continued in the crown till king Edward VI. in his 5th year,   granted to Sir George Brooke, lord Cobham, &c. the hundred   of Hoo, and the manors of Great and Little Hoo, to hold in   capite by knights service; but his unfortunate grandson,   Henry lord Cobham, being convicted of high treason in the   1st year of king James I. though he had pardon of his life,   yet he forfeited all his estates to the crown, and among   them these at Hoo, all which were confirmed to the crown by   an act passed in the 3d year of that reign. Soon after which   these manors were granted to Sir Robert Cecil, earl of   Salisbury (son of William lord Burleigh) who was afterwards   lord treasurer of England, &c. and had married Elizabeth,   sister of Henry lord Cobham above mentioned. He died   possessed of them in 1612, and was succeeded in them by his   only son and heir, William earl of Salisbury, who, in the   4th year of king Charles I. alienated them to Sir Edward   Hales, bart. who possessed them at his death, in 1654; whose   grandson, Sir Edward Hales, bart. became his heir, and   entitled as such to these manors; but he possessed only the   court baron of them; for the view of frank pledge belonging   to the hundred, appears by the court rolls to have   continued, from the lord Cobham's death, in the crown, and   to have been in possession of the keepers of the liberties   of England, as they were styled, from the death of king   Charles I. in 1648, to the Restoration; three years after   which, in 1663, he seems to have had, by the style of them,   the full possession of both. Having risqued his fortune in   the service of king Charles I. and contracted debts to a   large amount, he was obliged to abandon his country, to   which he never returned; and this estate being vested by him   in Sir John Tufton, bart. and Edward Hales, esq. of Boughton   Malherb, as trustees, was conveyed by them, by the name of   the manor and hundred of Hoo, to Edward Villiers, esq. the   4th son of Sir Edward, second son of George Villiers, of   Brokesby, in Leicestershire, by his first wife, Audrey,   daughter and heir of William Sanders, esq. (fn. 9) upon   which Edward his eldest son and heir, succeeded him in the   manor and hundred of Hoo, and being much in favour with king   William, was, in the 3d year of his reign, created viscount   Villiers of Dartford, and baron of Hoo. He was afterwards,   in 1697, created earl of Jersey, and died in 1711, leaving   by Barbara his wife, daughter of Wm. Chiffinch, esq. two   sons; of whom William, the eldest, succeeded his father in   titles and this estate; whose descendant, George Bussy   Villiers, earl of Jersey, viscount Villiers of Dartford. and   baron of Hoo, is the present possessor of this manor and   hundred. (fn. 10)
The manor of Great Hoo extends over   part of the parish of West Pechham, in this county.
At the court of this manor, the following constables and   borsholders are appointed—one constable for the Upper half   hundred, and another for the Lower half hundred of Hoo; and   borsholders for the boroughs of Hardlefield, Boxley,   Deangate, Dalham, Fincent, Church-street, and Oxenheath. The   court is held yearly on Whit Monday.
BELUNCLE is a manor in this parish, which was formerly a   seat of some eminence, and most probably was part of those   possessions in the hundred of Hoo, which belonged to the   family of Bardolf, and passed after the death of Robert   Bardolf in marriage with one of his five nieces and coheirs,   to Jordan Foliot, who, in the 9th year of king Henry III.   performed his homage for it. (fn. 11) His son and heir,   Richard de Foliot, passed away this manor by fine, in the   20th year of that reign, to Reginald de Cobham, second son   of Henry de Cobham, of Cobham, who died possessed of it in   the 42d year of it. After whose death, it seems to have   descended to his nephew, Sir John de Cobham, of Cobham, who   died in the 28th year of king Edward I. leaving by Joane,   his first wife, daughter of Sir Robert de Septvans, a son   Henry, who had the addition of junior to his name, to   distinguish him from Henry his uncle, of Roundal in Shorne,   then living. He died soon after the 9th year of king Edward   III. leaving by his wife, Maud de Columbers, three sons;   John, who succeeded him at Cobham, and was ancestor of the   Cobhams of that place, and of Sterborough-castle; Thomas,   who was of Beluncle; and Reginald, rector of Cowling.
Beluncle Halt
Thomas the second son had this manor of Beluncle by   devise from his father, and was afterwards knighted. He   changed his arms to, Gules, on a chewron or, three crescents   sable, which coat was borne by all his posterity of this   place. He resided here, and having married Agnes, daughter   of Sepham, of Sepham, in this county, was succeeded by his   son and heir, Thomas de Cobeham, who was likewise of   Beluncle, and lies buried in Cobham church, with Maud his   wife. His descendants afterwards continued to reside at   Beluncle till, at length, John Cobham, esq. succeeded to   this manor, and was alderman, and some time mayor, of the   city of Rochester, where he resided, and in 1624, was a   benefactor to the church of St. Nicholas there, by setting   up the north window of the chancel. He married Elizabeth,   daughter of James Ballandine, of Derbyshire, by whom he had   two sons, John and William, and a daughter Elizabeth. He   died in the reign of king Charles I. leaving his wife,   Elizabeth, surviving. Some time after which this manor   became divided into moieties, one of which became vested in   colonel Richard Cobham, of Rochester; and the other in   Clement Chadbourne and Elizabeth his wife, one of the   daughters of John Cobham, alderman, late of Rochester.

Clement Chadbourne and Elizabeth his wife, in 1708,   conveyed their undivided moiety of this manor to colonel   Richard Cobham above mentioned, who died without male issue,   leaving two daughters his coheirs, the eldest of which,   Mary, carried one moiety of this manor in marriage to   captain James Hayes, of Rochester, who bore for his arms,   Gules, a chevron or, between three boars heads couped; who   having purchased the other moiety, became possessed of the   whole, and died in 1755, without male issue, leaving two   daughters and coheirs, the eldest of whom Jane, carried it   in marriage to the Rev. Mr. Js. Parsons, of Botherep, in   Gloucestershire, who, in 1788, sold it to Richard Webb, esq.   and he is the present owner of this manor. There is no court   held for this manor.

ABBOT'S-COURT , now corruptly called ABBEY'SCOURT , was formerly the mansion of an estate   here, called the manor of Little Hoo, alias Hoo Parva, which
belonged to the abbey of Boxley; in consequence of which it   has always been esteemed as lying within the borough of   Boxley. King Richard I. confirmed to that abbey a market in   Hoo, of the gift of Maud de Canvill. (fn. 12) King Edward   III. in his 33d year, granted free warren to the abbot and   convent for their demesne lands within their manor in Hoo;   and they continued in possession of this estate till the   dissolution of their abbey in the 29th year of king Henry   VIII. when it was, together with all its revenues,   surrendered into the king's hands; who, in his 32d year,   granted this manor to Sir Thomas Wyatt, at the yearly rent   of 48s. 2d. since which it has had the same possessors as   the manor of Great Hoo, and is now, with that, the property   of the Right Hon. George earl of Jersey.
John lord   Cobham, in the 36th year of king Edward III. settled two   hundred and fifty acres of marsh, called Rowe and Slade   marshes, lying within the lordship of St. Werburg's, in Hoo,   on his new founded chantry or college in Cobham church.
Queen Elizabeth, in her 10th year, granted to Philip   Conwaye, two marshes, called Estwike and Sprete, in this   parish.


THIS PARISH of St.   Warburge, alias Hoo, has the right of nomination to three   several places in the New College of Cobham, for three poor   persons, inhabitants of this parish, to be chosen and   presented so, and by such, as by the ordinances of the   college have power to present and elect for this parish. And   if the parish of Stroud should make default in their turn,   then the benefit of such election devolves to this parish.

THOMAS WALKER gave by will, in 1629, for the benefit of   the poor, not receiving alms, a house and lands, vested in   Mess. Gilbird and Cart, of the annual produce of 5l.

Hoo is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese   and deanry of Rochester. The church is dedicated to St.   Warburgh. The church consists of three isles and a chancel.

In it, among others, are the following inscriptions on   brasses: In the chancel, two for the family of Plumley, in   1615 and 1642; two others, for John Brown and Rich. Bayly,   vicars; the latter, anno 1412. In the nave, one for Stephen   and Richard Charlis, obt. 1446; another, John Beddyll, obt.   1500. In the south isle, one for Thomas Cobham, esq. obt.   1465, and Matilda his wite. In the north isle, one for   William Alton and Gelyane his wife, by whom he had fifteen   children. (fn. 13)

Robert Bardolf, lord of the manor   of Hoo, in the reign of king John, granted to this church   all the land, called Elwruetche, which joined to his field,   called the Lese, towards the south; and also a piece of   land, containing half an acre, in pure and perpetual alms,   to find one lamp to burn nightly before the altar of St.   Werburge, where the sacrament was kept.

Laurence,   bishop of Rochester, in 1252, appropriated the church of St.   Werburge of Hoo, with the chapel of All Saints, and all   things belonging to it, to the prior and convent of   Rochester, to the use of their almonry, they being the real   patrons of it, by the grant of it, by the lady abbess and   convent, and by the prior of St. Sulpice, provided that the   church was served by a proper vicar, to be presented to him,   and his successors, who should in no wife neglect the cure   of souls therein.

The vicarage of this church had no   endowment for many years afterwards; but in 1337, Hamo,   bishop of Rochester, with the consent of all parties, by his   instrument that year decreed, first, that the religious, to   whom the appropriation belonged, should have the mansion of   the rectory of the church, together with all lands and the   meadow belonging to it, which the religious had till that   time possessed, as the glebe of it; and that all tithes of   sheaves, wheresoever arising, as well from land dug with the   foot, as cultivated with the plough, should in future belong   to them; and that they should hold and possess the above   lands and meadow, and should take the said tithes of sheaves   of this kind for their portion, and that the burthens of   sustaining and repairing the chancel of the church, and the   buildings of the rectory, and the burthen of finding books,   vestments, and other new ornaments, which did not belong to   the parishioners to find (surplices, rochets, albes, and   other habits and linen ornaments only excepted) should   belong to the religious; and that they should cause to be   delivered to the vicar and his successors, from the barns of   the rectory yearly, at the time in which wheat was sown, one   quarter of wheat; and at the time in which Palm barley was   sown, one seam of Palm barley; and at the time in which peas   were sown, two bushels of peas for porridge, and one load of   straw for litter for his cows; all which should be carried   to the house of the vicar. And he further decreed, that the   mansion of the vicarage of this church, with the garden and   plat adjoining, and all tithes of rushes, hay, lambs, wool,   calves, milkmeats, pigs, geese, flax, hemp, mills,   pidgeons,sylva cedua, eggs, fruits of trees, bees,   curtilages, conies, and fisheries, orchards, pannage,   herbage, fowlings, merchandisings, and all personal tithes   of things whatsoever, and oblations at the exequies of the   dead in the parish churches of St. Mary's and Halstow, and   other parish churches in Hoo, the bodies of whom ought to be   buried in the cemetery of the church of St. Werburge, and   all other oblations and obventions whatsoever to the church   belonging and accruing, and not above assigned to the   religious, should belong to the vicar and his successors in   the vicarage; and that the burthen of the procuration   belonging to the archdeacon, and also the burthen of   providing surplices, rochets, albes, and other habits and   ornaments of linen, and the burthen of repairing and   maintaining the buildings and mansion of the vicarage   wholly, and of books, vestments, and other ornaments to be   provided by the religious, as also the providing of bread   and wine for the sacrament of the altar, of processional   tapers, and other lights belonging to the church, and of   other matters necessary for divine worship, which did not   belong to the parishioners to provide, nor were specified as   above, should belong in future to the vicar and his   successors in the vicarage. And that Sir John Reginald, of   Chatham, then vicar, and his successors, should take the   above mentioned tithes, oblations, and obventions for his   portion in future, and should be contented with them, and   should undergo and acknowledge the above burthens; but that   all other burthens, ordinary and extraordinary, not before   specified, as well the religious as the vicar and his   successors, should undergo and acknowledge, in proportion   according to the then taxation of the church and vicarage,   as the same belonged to each of them.

The churches of Halstow and St. Mary's, as well as that of   All Saints, now called Alhallows, in this hundred, were   accounted but as chapels to this church of St Warburgh. In   1724, Laurence, bishop of Rochester, by his instrument,   reciting that the chapels of Halstow and St. Mary of Hoo had   been beyond memory pensionary to the church of St. Wer   burge, as to their mother church, viz. the former in two   marcs, the latter in half a marc; of which annual pensions   the church of St. Werburge, and the rectors of it, had been,   as then plainly appeared, in possession for more than forty   years before his time, confirmed them to the said church;   and for the greater security of this matter, he decreed,   that the parsons, who should be instituted in those chapels   in future by the religious, to whom he had formerly granted   the church of St. Werberge, with all things belonging to it,   to their own proper uses, should, in the presence of him and   his successors, having taken an oath for that purpose,   promise to pay the pensions as above mentioned. (fn. 14)

The church and vicarage continued part of the possessions of   the priory of Rochester till the dissolution of it in the   32d year of king Henry VIII. when it was surrendered into   his hands; and the next year the king settled this church   and vicarage, by his dotation charter, on his new erected   dean and chapter of Rochester, where they now remain.

This vicarage is a discharged living, in the king's books,   of the clear yearly certified value of 46l. 3s. the yearly   tenths of which are, 1l. 17s. 7d. (fn. 15)
On the   intended abolition of deans and chapters, after the death of   king Charles I. this parsonage was surveyed and valued in   1649, when it consisted of a parsonage and manor belonging   to it, with the tithes of all manner of corn and grain, and   a fair manor or parsonage house adjoining to the church   yard, with the garden, orchard, and yard, containing, by   estimation, one acre, and other lands, which manor house,   and its appurtenances, together with the tithes, were valued   at one hundred pounds per annum. All which, as well as rents   of assize, and perquisites of courts, lands, &c. were let by   the late dean and chapter, among other things, in 1638, to   James Plumley, at the yearly rent of twenty pounds and two   good capons, or four shillings in money, for the term of   twenty-one years; but the premises, with the lands, were   worth, upon improvement, over and above the said rent, the   yearly value of 122l. 16s. 7d. the widow Plumley being then   the immediate tenant of them; that the lessee was to repair   the premises and the chancel of the church; that the   patronage of the vicarage, worth sixty pounds per annum, and   upwards, was reserved by the dean and chapter, Mr. Lewis   Howard being then incumbent of it; that there was due by   custom from the rectory to the vicar, and payable annually   at Christmas, a seam of wheat, a seam of barley, two bushels   of peas, and a load of straw. There is a manor now belonging   to the parsonage.

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