And on the second weekend of the year, I take my two camera bodies out for a bit of churchcrawling.
Wingham is a substantial town/village between Dover and Canterbury, and was once the terminus of a branch of the East Kent Light Railway, though the nearby mine failed to produce any coal.
It is an attractive place, but is blighted by the main road that cuts the town in half, and it is a busy road too. On the road there are three pubs, and many fine and ancient houses.
St Mary sits beside the road, and it skirts the churchyard to the south and east, and despite being on a grand scale, mature trees in the churchyard do well to hide it from view.
I did come here many years ago back in the early days of the Kent Church project, and took no more than a handful of shots, I thought I could do better that that this time.
It is a church full of grand tombs, memorials and other features that I am looking forward to share with you, most curious of which is a curved passageway that leads from the northeast corner of the Oxenden chapel to the chancel.
I was met inside by one of the wardens, cleaning up with a large soft broom, after a while he came over to see what I was doing, so i explained about the project, and also said what a fine church it was (such comments always go down well I find) and that the memorials on display look fabulous, but I could see two more hidden away behind the organ in what is now the vestry, but was once the north chapel, or the Palmer family chapel. He got out his keys and unlocked the vestry door, allowing me to photograph the one memorial still visible.
An enormous church, picturesquely set at an angle of the village street. It owes its size to the fact that it supported a college of priests in the Middle Ages. During the sixteenth century it was substantially rebuilt, but the north aisle was not replaced, reducing the church to the odd shape we see today. The unusual pillars which divide the nave from the south aisle are of timber, not stone as a result of lack of money. At the end of the south aisle is the Oxenden chapel, which contains that family’s excellent bull’s head monument. The contemporary metalwork screens and black and white pavements add great dignity to this part of the building. By going through a curved passage from the chapel you can emerge in the chancel, which is dominated by a stone reredos of fifteenth-century date. This French construction was a gift to the church in the 1930s and while it is not good quality carving, is an unusual find in a Kent church.
hortly after 1280AD Archbishop Peckham of Canterbury established a college of priests at Wingham, with a provost and six canons. From 1286 the priests lived in the attractive timber-framed house opposite St Mary’s church. The college accounts for the size of the church, which seems enormous considering the present size of Wingham itself.
There was a cruciform church here before the college was established, but that building was remodelled around 1290, leaving us several excellent Geometric Gothic windows. A south porch and tower were added around 1400. The porch is curious in that there are two stories externally, but internally only one. There are many reminders of the church’s past, however; the arch between the south transept and south nave aisle is late Norman, as is a blocked arch on the west wall of the north transept.
By the early 16th century the nave was in poor condition. A local brewer named George Ffogarde of Canterbury was granted a license to raise money for its repair. Having a considerable sum of money for church repair, the unscrupulous brewer absconded with the funds, embezzling £224, a huge sum for the time. The missing funds may explain why the nave was rebuilt using cheaper timber posts to support the arcades, rather than more costly stone.
The octagonal timber posts are of chestnut wood, topped by a crown-post timber roof. Sometime before the mid-19th century the timbers were encased in plaster to resemble Doric columns, but thankfully the plaster has been stripped off and we can appreciate the timber! The nave was rebuilt in the late 16th century, diminishing its footprint and leaving behind some rather odd features, like an external piscina on what was originally the easternmost pier of the nave arcade. Another odd touch is provided by the north transept, remodelled with wood frames in the Georgian period. I’m not sure I can call to mind another essentially medieval church with wooden-framed windows!
In the chancel is a lovely 14th century triple-seat sedilia and piscina. The chancel and nave are separated by a 15th century screen, now truncated, with blank panels which must have once boasted painted figures of saints. But the real treasure in the chancel is a series of ten 14th century misericords. Six of the misericord carvings are simply decorative, with floral or foliage designs. Two show animals; one appears to be a horse, another a donkey. The final two carvings are the most interesting; one shows a woman in a wimple, the other a Green Man peering out from a screen of foliage.
Behind the altar is a lovely 15th century reredos, brought here from Troyes in France. The reredos is in two sections, the upper section depicting the Passion of Christ, the lower showing the Last Supper and the Adoration of the Kings. There are small fragments of rather attractive 14th century grisailles glass in the chancel windows, and near the font are a number of surviving medieval floor tiles.
The interior is full of monuments to the Oxenden and Palmer families. The finest of these are to be found in the north transept chapel. On the east wall of the chapel is a memorial to Sir Nicholas Palmer (d. 1624). The memorial was designed by Nicholas Stone and shows effigies of Palmer and his wife under Corinthian columns and an open pediment. On the north wall is the monument to a later Thomas Palmer (d. 1656) with a bust of the deceased, now somewhat the worse for wear. A tablet to Streynsham Master (d. 1718) is on the south chapel wall, and has a fairly typical pair of skulls at the base of the tablet, wreathed in olive branches.
The most extravagant and eye-catching memorial in the church, however, is to be found in the north transept chapel, which is guarded by ornate wrought-iron screens. In the centre of the chapel is an ebullient obelisk, dated 1682, commemorating the Oxenden family. This free-standing obelisk, possibly designed by Arnold Quellin, is of white stone, with exquisite fruit and flowers cascading down each side, with large black ox heads at each angle of the base. The base is embellished with four putti (cherubic ‘infants’). The effect is quite extraordinary; most people will either love it or hate it (I loved it). Also in the south transept is a wall tablet to Charles Tripp (d. 1624).
Other monuments worth mentioning include a 14th century tomb recess in the south aisle wall and a number of 15th century indents in the chancel floor which once contained memorial brasses to canons.
The church is set within a large walled enclosure, dating to the 16th and 17th centuries. Unusually, the churchyard wall has been listed Grade-II by the Department of the Environment for its historical interest.
IS the next adjoining parish south-westward from Ash, situated for the most part in the upper half hundred of the same name, and having in it the boroughs of Wingham-street, Deane, Twitham, and Wenderton, which latter is in the lower half hundred of Wingham.
WINGHAM is situated in a healthy pleasant country, the greatest part of it is open uninclosed arable lands, the soil of which, though chalky, is far from being unfertile. The village, or town of Wingham, is nearly in the middle of the parish, having the church and college at the south-west part of it; behind the latter is a field, still called the Vineyard. The village contains about fifty houses, one of which is the court-lodge, and is built on the road leading from Canterbury to Sandwich, at the west end of it runs the stream, called the Wingham river, which having turned a corn-mill here, goes on and joins the Lesser Stour, about two miles below; on each side the stream is a moist tract of meadow land. Near the south boundary of the parish is the mansion of Dene, situated in the bottom, a dry, though dull and gloomy habitation; and at the opposite side, next to Staple, the ruinated mansion of Brook, in a far more open and pleasant situation. To the northward the parish extends a considerable way, almost as far as the churches of Preston and Elmstone. The market, granted anno 36 king Henry III. as mentioned hereafter, if it ever was held, has been disused for a number of years past; though the market-house seems yet remaining. There are two fairs held yearly here, on May 12, and November 12, for cattle and pedlary.
In 1710 there was found on the court-lodge farm, by the plough striking against it, a chest or coffin, of large thick stones, joined together, and covered with a single one at the top. At the bottom were some black ashes, but nothing else in it. The ground round about was searched, but nothing else was sound.
Henry de Wengham, a person of great note and extraordinary parts, and much in favour with Henry III. was born here, who in 1255 made him lord chancellor. In 1259, he was elected bishop of Winchester, which he resused, but towards the latter end of the same year he was chosen bishop of London, being still chancellor, and was consecrated the beginning of the year following. He died in 1262, and was buried in his own cathedral. He bore for his arms, Gules, a heart between two wings, displayed, or.
WILLIAM COWPER, ESQ. eldest son of Sir William Cowper, bart. of Ratling-court, in Nonington, having been made lord-keeper of the great seal in 1705, was afterwards by letters patent, dated Dec. 14, 1706, created lord Cowper, baron Cowper of Wingham; and in 1709, was declared lord chancellor. After which, anno 4 George I. he was created earl Cowper and viscount Fordwich, in whose descendants these titles have continued down to the right hon. Peter-Lewis-Francis Cowper, the fifth and present earl Cowper, viscount Fordwich and baron of Wingham. (fn. 1)
The MANOR OF WINGHAM was part of the antient possessions of the see of Canterbury, given to it in the early period of the Saxon heptarchy, but being torn from it during the troubles of those times, it was restored to the church in the year 941, by king Edmund, his brother Eadred, and Edwin that king’s son. (fn. 2) Accordingly it is thus entered, under the general title of the archbishop’s possessions, taken in the survey of Domesday:
In the lath of Estrei, in Wingeham hundred, the archbishop himself holds Wingeham in demesne. It was taxed at forty sulings in the time of king Edward the Consessor, and now for thirty-five. The arable land is . . . . . . In demesne there are eight carucates, and four times twenty and five villeins, with twenty borderers having fifty-seven carucates. There are eight servants, and two mills of thirty-four sulings. Wood for the pannage of five hogs, and two small woods for fencing. In its whole value, in the time of king Edward the Consessor, it was worth seventy-seven pounds, when he received it the like, and now one hundred pounds. Of this manor William de Arcis holds one suling in Fletes, and there be has in demesne one carucate, and four villeins, and one knight with one carucate, and one fisbery, with a saltpit of thirty pence. The whole value is forty shillings. Of this ma nor five of the archbishop’s men hold five sulings and an half and three yokes, and there they have in demesne eight carucates, and twenty-two borderers, and eight servants. In the whole they are worth twenty-one pounds.
In the 36th year of king Henry III. archbishop Boniface obtained the grant of a market at this place. The archbishops had a good house on this manor, in which they frequently resided. Archbishop Baldwin, in king Henry II.’s reign, staid at his house here for some time during his contention with the monks of Christ-church, concerning his college at Hackington. Archbishop Winchelsea entertained king Edward I. here in his 23d year, as did archbishop Walter Reynolds king Edward II. in his 18th year. And king Edward III. in his 5th year, having landed at Dover, with many lords and nobles in his train, came to Wingham, where he was lodged and entertained by archbishop Meopham. And this manor continued part of the see of Canterbury till archbishop Cranmer, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. exchanged it with the king for other premises. After which it continued in the crown till king Charles I. in his 5th year, granted the scite, called Wingham court, with the demesne lands of the manor, to trustees, for the use of the city of London. From whom, by the direction of the mayor and commonalty, it was conveyed, at the latter end of that reign, to Sir William Cowper, knight and baronet, in whose descendants it has continued down to the right hon. Peter-Francis Cowper, earl Cowper, who is the present owner of it. (fn. 3)
BUT THE MANOR ITSELF, with the royalties, profits of courts, &c. remained still in the crown. Since which, the bailiwic of it, containing the rents and pro fits of the courts, with the fines, amerciaments, reliess, &c. and the privilege of holding the courts of it, by the bailiff of it, have been granted to the family of Oxenden, and Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. of Brome, is now in possession of the bailiwic of it. A court leet and court baron is held for this manor.
TRAPHAM is a mansion in this parish, which was formerly in the possession of a family of the same name, who resided at it, but after they were extinct it passed into that of Trippe, who bore for their arms, Gules, a chevron, or, between three borses heads erased, sable, bridled, collared and crined of the second; (fn. 4) and John Tripp, esq. resided here in queen Elizabeth’s reign, as did his grandson Charles, who seems to have alienated it to Sir Christopher Harflete, of St. Stephen’s, whose son Tho. Harflete, esq. left an only daughter and heir Afra, who carried it in marriage to John St. Leger, esq. of Doneraile, in Ireland, descended from Sir Anthony St. Leger, lord deputy of Ireland in Henry VIII.’s reign, and they joined in the alienation of it to Brook Bridges, esq of the adjoining parish of Goodneston, whose descendant Sir Brook Wm. Bridges, bart. of that place, is the present owner of it.
The MANOR OF DENE, situated in the valley, at the southern boundary of this parish, was antiently the inheritance of a family who took their surname from it, and held it by knight’s service of the archbishop, in king Edward I’s reign, but they seem to have been extinct here in that of king Edward III. After which it passed into the family of Hussey, who bore for their arms, Per chevron, argent and vert, three birds counterchanged; and then to Wood, before it came by sale into the family of Oxenden, who appear to have been possessed of it at the latter end of Henry VI.’s reign, about which time they had become by marriage, owners of Brook and other estates in this parish. The family of Oxenden have been resident in this county from the reign of king Edward III. Solomon Oxenden, being the first mentioned in the several pedigrees of it, whose near relation Richard Oxenden was prior of Christchurch, Canterbury, in that reign; in this name and family of Oxenden, whose arms were Argent, a chevron, gules, between three oxen, sable, armed, or; which coat was confirmed to the family by Gyan, king at arms, anno 24 Henry VI. this manor and seat continued down to Sir Henry Oxenden, of Dene, who was on May 8, 1678, created a baronet, whose youngest grandson Sir George Oxenden, bart. succeeding at length to the title on the death of his eldest brother Sir Henry, resided at Dene, where he died in 1775, having served in parliament for Sandwich, and been employed in high offices in administration, and leaving behind him the character of a compleat gentleman. He married Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheirs of Edward Dunck, esq. of Little Wittenham, in Berkshire, by whom he had two sons, of whom George, the second, was made by will heir to the estate of Sir Basil Dixwell, bart. of Brome, on his death, s. p. and changed his name to Dixwell as enjoined by it, but died soon afterwards likewise, s. p. and that estate came at length to his eldest brother Henry, who succeeded his father in the title of Baronet. He married Margaret, daughter and coheir of Sir George Chudleigh, bart. of Devonshire, since deceased, by whom he has issue Henry Oxenden, esq. of Madekyn, in Barham, who married Mary, one of the daughters of Col. Graham, of St. Laurence, near Canterbury, by whom he has issue. Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. now resides at Brome, and is the present possessor of this manor and seat, as well as the rest of his father’s estates in this parish. (fn. 5) Lady Hales, widow of Sir Thomas Pym Hales, bart. of Bekesborne, now resides in it.
TWITHAM, now usually called Twittam, is a hamlet in this parish, adjoining to Goodneston, the principal estate in which once belonged to a family of that name, one of whom Alanus de Twitham is recorded as having been with king Richard I. at the siege of Acon, in Palestine, who bore for his arms, Semee of crosscroslets, and three cinquesoils, argent, and held this estate in Twitham, of the archbishop, and they appear to have continued possessed of it in the 3d year of king Richard II. Some time after which it came into the possession of Fineux, and William Fineux sold it anno 33 Henry VIII. to Ingram Wollet, whose heirs passed it away to one of the family of Oxenden, of Wingham, in whose descendants it has continued down to Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. of Brome, the present possessor of it.
On the foundation of the college of Wingham, archbishop Peckham, in 1286, endowed the first diaconal prebend in it, which he distinguished by the name of the prebend of Twitham, with the tithes of the lands of Alanus de Twitham, which he freely held of the archbishop there in Goodwynestone, at Twytham. (fn. 6)
BROOK is an estate in this parish, situated northward from Twitham, which was formerly the estate of the Wendertons, of Wenderton, in this parish, in which it remained till by a female heir Jane, it went in marriage to Richard Oxenden, gent. of Wingham, who died in 1440, and was buried in Wingham church, in whose name and family it continued down to Henry Oxenden, of Brook, who left two daughters and coheirs, of whom Mary married Richard Oxenden, of Grays Inn, barrister-at-law, fourth son of Sir Henry Oxenden, bart, who afterwards, on his wife’s becoming sole heiress of Brook, possessed it, and resided here. He left Elizabeth his sole daughter and heir, who carried it in marriage to Streynsham Master, esq. a captain in the royal navy, the eldest surviving son of James Master, esq. of East Langdon, who died some few days after his marriage; upon which she became again possessed of it in her own right, and dying in 1759, s. p. gave it by will to Henry Oxenden, esq. now Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. of Brome, and he is the present owner of it.
WENDERTON is a manor and antient seat, situated northward from Wingham church, eminent, says Philipott, for its excellent air, situation, and prospect, which for many successive generations had owners of that surname, one of whom, John de Wenderton, is mentioned in Fox’s Martyrology, as one among other tenants of the manor of Wingham, on whom archbishop Courtnay, in 1390, imposed a penance for neglecting to perform some services due from that manor. In his descendants this seat continued till John Wenderton, of Wenderton, in the 1st year of Henry VIII. passed it away to archbishop Warham, who at his decease in 1533, gave it to his youngest brother John Warham, whose great-grandson John, by his will in 1609, ordered this manor to be sold, which it accordingly soon afterwards was to Manwood, from which name it was alienated, about the middle of the next reign of king Charles I. to Vincent Denne, gent. who resided here, and died in 1642, s. p. whose four nieces afterwards became by will possessed of it, and on the partition of their estates, the manor and mansion, with part of the lands since called Great Wenderton, was allotted to Mary, the youngest of them, who afterwards married Vincent Denne, sergeant-at-law, and the remaining part of it, which adjoins to them, since called Little Wenderton, to Dorothy, the third sister, afterwards married to Roger Lukin, gent. of London, who soon afterwards sold his share to Richard Oxenden, esq. of Brook, from one of which family it was sold to Underdown, by a female heir of which name, Frances, it went in marriage to John Carter, esq. of Deal, the present owner of it.
BUT GREAT WENDERTON continued in the possession of Sergeant Denne, till his death in 1693, when Dorothy, his eldest daughter and coheir, carried it in marriage to Mr. Thomas Ginder, who bore Argent, on a pale, sable, a cross fuchee, or, impaling azure, three lions heads, or; as they are on his monument. He resided at it till his death in 1716, as did his widow till her decease in 1736, when it came to her nephew Mr. Thomas Hatley, who left two daughters his coheirs, the eldest surviving of whom, Anne, carried it in marriage, first to Richard Nicholas, esq. and then successively to Mr. Smith and Mr. James Corneck, of London, and Mrs. Corneck, the widow of the latter, is the present possessor of it.
At the boundary of this parish, adjoining to Preston and Ash, lies THE MANOR OF WALMESTONE, usually called Wamston, which was antiently part of the possessions of the family of Septvans, one of whom, Robert de Septvans, held it in king Edward II.’s reign, of the archbishop; whose descendant Sir William de Septvans died possessed of it in the 25th year of that reign. (fn. 7) How long it continued in this name I have not found; but at the beginning of king Edward IV.’s reign it was become the property of William Bonington, of Canterbury, who died in 1463, and directed it by his will to be sold. After which it became, about the latter end of king Henry VIII.’s reign, the property of Walter Hendley, esq. the king’s attorney-general, who left three daughters his coheirs, and they joined in the sale of it to Alday, who alienated it to Benedict Barnham, esq. alderman of London, one of whose daughters and coheirs, Elizabeth, carried it in marriage to Mervin Touchet, earl of Castlehaven, who being convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors, was executed anno 7 Charles I. Soon after which this manor seems to have been divided, and one part of it, since called Little Walmestone, in which was included the manor and part of the demesne lands, passed from his heirs to the Rev. John Smith, rector of Wickham Breaus, who having founded a scholarship at Oxford, out of the lands of it, presently afterwards sold it to Solly, of Pedding, in which name it continued till Stephen Solly, gent. of Pedding, and his two sons, John and Stephen, in 1653, joined in the conveyance of it to Thomas Winter, yeoman, of Wingham, in which name it remained for some time. At length, after some intermediate owners, it was sold to Sympson, and John Sympson, esq. of Canterbury, died possessed of it in 1748, leaving his wife surviving, who held it at her decease, upon which it came to her husband’s heir-atlaw, and it is now accordingly in the possession of Mr. Richard Simpson.
BUT GREAT WALMESTONE, consisting of the mansion-house, with a greater part of the demesne lands of the manor, was passed away by the heirs of the earl of Castlehaven to Brigham, and Mr. Charles Brigham, of London, in the year 1653, sold it to William Rutland, of London, who left two daughters his coheirs, of whom Mary married John Ketch, by whom she had a sole daughter Anne, who afterwards at length became possessed of it, and carried it in marriage to Samuel Starling, gent. of Worcestershire, who in 1718, conveyed it, his only son Samuel joining in it, to Thomas Willys, esq. of London, afterwards created a baronet. After which it passed in the same manner, and in the like interests and shares, as the manor of Dargate, in Hernehill, down to Matthew, Robert and Thomas Mitchell, the trustees for the several uses to which this, among other estates belonging to the Willis’s, had been limited; and they joined in the sale of it, in 1789, to Mr. William East, whose son, Mr. John East, of Wingham, is the present owner of it.
ARCHBISHOP KILWARBY intended to found a college in this church of Wingham, but resigning his archbishopric before he could put his design in practice, archbishop Peckham, his successor, in the year 1286, perfected his predecessor’s design, and founded A COLLEGE in this church, for a provost, whose portion, among other premises, was the profits of this church and the vicarage of it, and six secular canons; the prebends of which he distinguished by the names of the several places from whence their respective portions arose, viz. Chilton, Pedding, Twitham, Bonnington, Ratling, and Wimlingswold. The provost’s lodge, which appears by the foundation charter to have before been the parsonage, was situated adjoining to the church-yard; and the houses of the canons, at this time called Canon-row, opposite to it. These latter houses are, with their gardens and appurtenances, esteemed to be within the liberty of the town and port of Hastings, and jurisdiction of the cinque ports. This college was suppressed in the 1st year of king Edward VI. among others of the like sort, when the whole revenue of it was valued at 208l. 14s. 3½d. per annum, and 193l. 2s. 1d. clear; but Leland says, it was able to dispend at the suppression only eighty-four pounds per annum. Edward Cranmer, the last master, had at the dissolution a pension of twenty pounds per annum, which he enjoyed in 1553. (fn. 8)
After the dissolution of the college, the capital mansion, late belonging to the provost, remained in the crown till king Edward VI. in his 7th year, granted the scite of it, with the church appropriate of Wingham, and all tithes whatsoever arising within the parish, and one acre of glebe-land in it, to Sir Henry Palmer, subject to a payment of twenty pounds annually to the curate or vicar of it.
The Palmers of Wingham were descended from a very antient one at Angmerin, in Suffex, who bore for their arms, Or, two bars, gules, each charged with three tresoils of the field, in chief, a greyhound, currant, sable. In the seventh descent from Ralph Palmer, esq. of that place, in king Edward II.’s reign, was descended Sir Edward Palmer, of Angmerin, who left three sons, born on three successive Sundays, of whom John, the eldest, was of Sussex, which branch became extinct in queen Elizabeth’s reign; Sir Henry, the second son, was of Wingham; and Sir Thomas, the youngest, was beheaded in queen Mary’s reign. Sir Henry Palmer, the second son, having purchased the grant of the college of Wingham, as before-mentioned, made it the seat of his residence, as did his son Sir Thomas Palmer, who was sheriff anno 37 Elizabeth, and created a baronet in 1621. He so constantly resided at Wingham, that he is said to have kept sixty Christmases, without intermission, in this mansion, with great hospitality. He had three sons, each of whom were knighted. From the youngest of whom, Sir James, descended the Palmers, of Dauney, in Buckinghamshire, who upon the eldest branch becoming extinct, have succeeded to the title of baronet; and by his second wife he had Roger Palmer, earl of Castlemain. Sir Thomas Palmer, the eldest of the three brothers, died in his father’s life-time, and left Sir Thomas Palmer, bart. of Wingham, heir to his grandfather; in whose descendants, baronets, of this place, this mansion, with the parsonage of Wingham appropriate, continued down to Sir Thomas Palmer, bart. of Wingham, who died possessed of it in 1723, having had three wives; by the first he had four daughters; by the second he had a son Herbert, born before marriage, and afterwards a daughter Frances; the third was Mrs. Markham, by whom he had no issue; and she afterwards married Thomas Hey, esq. whom she likewise survived. Sir Thomas Palmer, by his will, gave this seat, with the parsonage appropriate and tithes of Wingham, inter alia, after his widow’s decease, to his natural son Herbert Palmer, esq. above-mentioned, who married Bethia, fourth daughter of Sir Thomas D’Aeth, bart. of Knolton. He died in 1760, s. p. and by will devised his interest in the reversion of this seat, with the parsonage, to his wife Bethia, for her life, and afterwards to his sister Mrs. Frances Palmer, in tail. But he never had possession of it, for lady Palmer furvived him, on whose death in 1763, Mrs. Bethia Palmer, his widow, became entitled to it, and afterwards married John Cosnan, esq. who died in 1773. She survived him, and resided here till her death in 1789. In the intermediate time, Mrs. Frances Palmer having barred the entail made by her natural brother Herbett above-mentioned, died, having devised the see of this estate, by her will in 1770, to the Rev. Thomas Hey, rector of Wickhambreaux, and his heirs, being the eldest son of the last lady Palmer by her last husband. Mr. Hey accordingly, on the death of Mrs. Cosnan, who died s. p. succeeded to this seat and estate. He married first Ethelreda, eldest daughter and coheir of dean Lynch, since deceased, by whom he has no surviving issue; and secondly, Mrs. Pugett, widow of Mr. Puget, of London. He now resides in this seat of Wingham college, having been created D. D. and promoted to a prebend of the church of Rochester.
JOHN CHURCH, yeoman, of this parish, in 1604, gave 1cl. to the poor, to distribute yearly at Easter, 10s. to the poor for the interest of it.
HECTOR DU MONT, a Frenchman, born in 1632, gave the silver cup and patten for the holy communion.
SIR GEORGE OXENDEN, president for the East-India Company at Surat, in 1660, gave the velvet cushion and pulpitcloth.
JOHN RUSHBEACHER, gent. of this parish, in 1663, gave five acres of land in Woodnesborough, the rents to be annually distributed to ten of the meaner sort of people of Wingham, not receiving alms of the parish, now of the yearly value of 4l.
SIR GEORGE OXENDEN, above-mentioned, in 1682, gave 500l. for the repairing and beautifying this church, and the Dene chancel.
SIR JAMES OXENDEN, knight and baronet, of Dene, founded and endowed a school in this parish with 16l. per annum for ever, for teaching twenty poor children reading and writing, now in the patronage of Sir Henry Oxenden, bart.
RICHARD OXENDEN, esq. of Brook, in 1701, gave an annuity of 4l. for ever, to the minister, for the reading of divine service and preaching a sermon, in this church, on every Wednesday in Lent, and on Good Friday; and he at the same time gave 20s. yearly for ever, to be distributed, with the consent of the heirs of the Brook estate, to eight poor people, who should be at divine service on Easter-day, to be paid out of the lands of Brook, now vested in Sir Henry Oxenden, bart.
THOMAS PALMER, esq. of St. Dunstan’s in the East, London, gave 300l for the repairing, adorning and beautifying the great chancel of this church.
MRS. ELIZABETH MASTER, esq. relict of Strensham Master, of Brook, in 1728, gave the large silver flaggon; and MRS. SYBILLA OXENDEN, spinster, of Brook, at the same time gave a large silver patten for the communion.
Besides the above benefactions, there have been several lesser ones given at different times in money, both to the poor and for the church. All which are recorded in a very handsome table in the church, on which are likewise painted the arms of the several benefactors
There are about forty poor constantly relieved, and casually twenty.
THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Bridge.
The church, which is exempt from the archdeacon, is dedicated to St. Mary. It is a handsome building, consisting of two isles and three chancels, having a slim spire steeple at the west end, in which is a peal of eight bells and a clock. The church consists of two isles and three chancels. The former appear to have been built since the reformation; the latter are much more antient. It is handsome and well built; the pillars between the isles, now cased with wood, are slender and well proportioned. The outside is remarkably beautiful in the flint-work, and the windows throughout it, were regular and handsomely disposed, superior to other churches, till later repairs destroyed their uniformity. The windows were formerly richly ornamented with painted glass, the remains of which are but small. In the south window, in old English letters, is Edward Warham, gentill . . . . of making this window . . . . and underneath the arms of Warham. In the north isle is a brass tablet for Christopher Harris, curate here, and rector of Stourmouth, obt. Nov. 24, 1719. Over the entrance from this isle into the high chancel, is carved on the partition, the Prince of Wales’s badge and motto. In the south wall is a circular arch, plain, seemingly over a tomb. A monument for T. Ginder, gent. obt. 1716. In the south east window the arms of Warham. A memorial for Vincent Denne, gent. of Wenderton, obt. 1642. In the high chancel are seven stalls on each side. On the pavement are several stones, robbed of their brasses, over the provosts and religious of the college. A stone, coffin-shaped, and two crosses pomelle, with an inscription round in old French capitals, for master John de Sarestone, rector, ob. XII Kal. May MCCLXXI. Several monuments and memorials for the family of Palmer. The south chancel is called the Dene chancel, belonging to that seat, under which is a vault, in which the family of Oxenden, owners of it, are deposited. In the middle, on the pavement, is a very costly monument, having at the corners four large black oxens beads, in allusion to their name and arms. It was erected in 1682. On the four tablets on the base is an account of the family of Oxenden, beginning with Henry, who built Denehouse, and ending with Dr. Oxenden, dean of the arches, who died in 1704. There are monuments in it likewise for the Trippes. The north chancel is called the Brook chancel, as belonging to that seat, in which are monuments for the Oxendens and Masters’s of this seat. This chancel is shut out from the church, and is made use of as a school-room, by which means the monuments are much desaced, and the gravestones, from the filth in it, have become wholly obliterated. On one of these stones was a brass plate, now gone, for Henry Oxenden, esq. who built Dene, obt. 1597.
Elizabeth, daughter of the marquis of Juliers, and widow of John, son of Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent, after being solemnly veiled a nun, quitted her prosession, and was clandestinely married to Sir Eustace de Danbrichescourt, in a chapel of the mansion-house of Robert de Brome, a canon of this collegiate church, in 1360; for which she and her husband were enjoined different kinds of penance during their lives, which is well worth the reading, for the uncommon superstitious mockery of them. (fn. 9)
At the time of the reformation, the church was partly collegiate, and partly parochial. The high chancel, separated from the rest of the church by a partition, served for the members of the college to perform their quire service in. The two isles of the church were for the parishioners, who from thence could hear the quire service; and in the north isle was a roodlost, where one of the vicars went up and read the gospel to the people. At which time, I find mention of a parish chancel likewise.
The church of Wingham formerly comprehended not only this parish, but those likewise of Ash, Goodnestone, Nonington, and Wimlingswold; but archbishop Peckham, in 1282, divided them into four distinct parochial churches, and afterwards appropriated them to his new-founded college of Wingham, with a saving to them of certain portions which the vicars of them were accustomed to receive. The profits of this church and the vicarage of it, together with the parsonage-house, being thus appropriated and allotted to the provost, as part of his portion and maintenance, the archbishop, in order that the church should be duly served, by his foundation charter, ordered, that the provost and canons should each of them keep a vicar who should constantly serve in it. In which state it continued till the suppression of the college, in the 1st year of king Edward VI. when it came, among the rest of the revenues of the college, into the hands of the crown, where this parsonage appropriate, to which was annexed, the nomination of the perpetual curate serving in this church, remained till it was granted by king Edward VI. in his 7th year, to Sir Thomas Palmer, bart. Since which it has continued in like manner, together with the scite of the college, as has been already mentioned, to the Rev. Dr. Hey, who is the present possessor of this parsonage, together with the patronage of the perpetual curacy of the church of Wingham.
In 1640 the communicants here were three hundred and sixty-one.
¶The curacy is endowed with a stipend of twenty pounds per annum, paid by the owner of the parsonage, and reserved to the curate in the original grant of the college by king Edward VI. and with four pounds per annum, being the Oxenden gift before mentioned; besides which, the stipend of the resident curate, and his successors, was increased in 1797, by a liberal benefaction made by the Rev. Dr. Hey, of one hundred pounds per annum, clear of all deductions, to be paid out of the parsonage, and of a house, garden, and piece of pasture land adjoining, for the curate’s use, both which were settled by him on trustees for that purpose.
Tagged: , St Mary the Virgin , Wingham , Kent , Church , Jelltex , Jelltecks