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The Royal Oak

(The Pig and Whistle)

Picture courtesy of The Lost Pubs Project

The publican was Mr William Reader who is the fourth person from the left behind the small boy.

Picture taken in 1912.

The Bull Inn

Hunton, by the River Beult

Pictures courtesy of

Dates: unknown

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info courtesy of



THE next parish north-eastward from Horsemonden is Marden, called in antient records, Merdenne, which lies wholly within the district of the Weald.

That part of this parish, which is within the manor of Hunton, is in the borough of Hunton, and hundred of Twyford; a small part of it belonging to the estate called Tilden, is in the hundred of Maidstone, and another small part of it is within the hundred of Eyhorne.

The manor of East Farleigh and East Peckham claims over the den of Chillenden in this parish, as does the manor of Gillingham over that of Haydhurst, alias Haytherst, in it.

THE PARISH OF MARDEN is about five miles long, and not more than one broad. There are about three hundred houses, and fifteen hundred inhabitants in it, the rents amounting to about 3,500l. per annum. The river Teis, being one of the principal heads of the Medway, flows along the western boundaries of it, as another head of it, which rises at Great Chart, does the northern boundary, and having passed Stylebridge, joins the former one, and then take their course together to the main river, which they join at Yalding. The turnpike road, which leads over Cocksheath to Style-bridge, separates there at the 44th mile-stone from London, the left branch passing to Cranbrook, and the right through this parish towards Goudhurst, the only parts of it which may be said to be above ground, the rest of it being so deep and miry as to be nearly impassable in wet weather. The town of Marden, as it is usually called, is situated on it, nearly in the middle of the parish. It is not paved, and consists of three streets, the houses of which are but meanly built, the church stands at the west end of the town, with the patronage opposite to it, and the vicarage on the entrance to it from Maidstone. The country here is much the same as the lower parts of the adjoining parishes of Hunton and Yalding already described in a former volume of this history. (fn. 1) Near the road from Style-bridge to Goudhurst it is very pleasant, but towards Hunton, and towards Staplehurst much the contrary, being of a very dreary and sorlorn aspect. It lies very low and flat, the soil in general a stiff clay, a very heavy tillage land; in winter the lands are exceeding wet, and much subject to inundations, and was it not for the manure of their native marle, and the help of chalk and lime brought from the northern hills would be still more unferstile than they were at present, notwithstanding which there are partially dispersed some very rich lands among them, and there were some years ago three hundred acres of hop-ground here, which have of late been lessened near one hundred acres. The farms are in general small, the houses of them antient well-timbered buildings, standing dispersed at wide distances, many of them on the different greens or forstals throughout the parish.

A fair is held here yearly on October 10, for toys and pedlary. The profits of which the portreve of the hundred of Milton receives of antient custom, which officer executed within this hundred the office of clerk of the market in all points, whilst the market was held, but it has been disused time out of mind.

THE MANOR AND HUNDRED OF MARDEN has been from the earliest time esteemed as an appendage to the king's manor and hundred of Milton.

King Edward I. settled it in jointure on his queen Eleanor, who in the 11th year of that reign procured a market and fair to be held at Mereden, parcel of the manor of Middleton. Queen Eleanor died in 1291, anno 20 Edward I. and the king again took possession of this manor, and the next year it was found, upon an inquisition taken for that purpose, that this hundred then belonged to the king, and, together with the hundred of Middleton, was worth 22l. 13s. 8d. per annum. (fn. 2)

The inhabitants of this hundred from time to time petitioned the crown, to have this manor separated from the jurisdiction of that of Milton, and to be esteemed as an entire and independent manor of itself; but this appears never to have been attended to; so that it continues in the same dependant state at this time.

Although there was from time to time several grants made by the crown, of the manor of Middleton, with this of Marden appendant to it, yet the fee of it remained parcel of the royal revenue, as may be more particularly seen under the description of that manor, till the 10th year of king Charles I. who then granted it to Sir Edward it Browne and Christopher Favell, in fee, from whence it passed through the several intermediate owners there mentioned, down to the right hon. Philip, viscount Wenman, and Mrs. Anne Herbert, the present possessors of the manor of Middleton, with this of Marden appendant to it.

THE MANOR OF CHEVENEY, and CHEVENEYHOUSE, are both situated in this parish, and are now distinguished by the names of Great and Little Chevnney. They were antiently the property of a family of that surname: Henry del Chyvene held the manor of Chyvene at his death in the 2d year of Edward II. anno 1308, of the king in capite. His descendant John Chivene died possessed of them in the reign of Edward III. as did his widow Joane in the 32d year of it. After which there is no farther traces of this family, but in the 2d year of the next reign of king Richard II. it appears by the antient court-rolls of this manor, that William At-Weld was properietor of them, in whose descendants they contined till the beginning of the reign of king Henry VI. and then they passed by sale to Couper, and in the 13th year of it, William Couper discharged several persons from the amerciaments and fines imposed on them, for not persforming suit and service to his manor of Cheveney.

In this family they continued till the beginning of queen Mary's reign, when they came into the possession of two brothers, as coheirs in gavelkind, who made a partition of their inheritance; one of them, who had the allotment of the manor, passed it away to Lone, one of whose descendants, a little while before the restoration of king Charles II. alienated it to Thomas Twisden, esq. sergeant-at-law, afterwards knighted, and made one of the judges of the king's bench, and created a baronet. He seated himself at Bradbourne, and in his descendants this manor, since known by the name of Great Cheveney, was continued down to his great-grandsion Sir Roger Twisden, bart. of Bradborne, who died possessed of it, without male issue, in 1779, upon which it came to his widow, lady Rebecca Twisden, who is the present possessor of it. (fn. 3) A court baron is held for it.

But CHEVENE-HOUSE, since called LITTLE CHEVENEY, fell to the lot of the other brother, and was alienated by him to Maplesden, which branch of that family had been seated in this parish for some generations before. Many of them lie buried in this church, where several of the inscriptions on their gravestones are become obliterated, through the dampness of it. Several of their wills are in the Prerogative-office, Canterbury. They bore for their arms, Argent, a cross fermee, fitchee, sable. In which name it continued down to George Maplesden, esq. who resided here, where he died in 1688, leaving two sons, George, who, though married, died s. p. in 1735, and was succeeded in this estate by his brother Edward; and two daughters, Anne, who was married to Booth, and Catherine to Courthope, of Horsemonden. Edward Maplesden, esq. above mentioned, was of the Middle Temple, and died, unmarried and interstate, in 1755; upon which this, among the rest of his estates, descended to Alexander Courthope, esq. of Horsemonden, the son of his sister Cantherine, and to Charles Booth, esq. the grandson of his sister Anne, beforementioned, as his coheirs in gavelkind, and upon a partition of his whole estate, this house became the sole property of the former, who likewise died unmarried in 1779; upon which Chevene-house, with the rest of his estates, came to his nephew and heir-at-law John Cole, esq. (son of his sister Barbara) who now resides at Sprivers, in Horsemonden, and is the present possessor of it.

WIDEHURST is a manor in this parish, which was formerly written in old records Wogherst, and was, as early as the reigns of king John and king Henry III. the patrimony of the family of Corbie, of no small account in this county, in which it continued till it passed by a female heir by marriage into that of Wotton, ennobled by the title of lords Wotton, of Marley, and thence again by a daughter and coheir Catherine, in marriage to Henry, lord Stanhope, son and heir of Philip, earl of Chesterfield, who died in his father's life-time, and she again carried it in marriage to her second husband John Poliander Kirkhoven, lord of Hemfleet, in Holland, (fn. 4) and they, in 1652, joined in the sale of it to John Boughton, esq. who in 1656 alienated it to Mr. John Godden, and his heirs, in 1683, conveyed it to John Brewer, esq. of West Farleigh, whose descendant of the same name died possessed of it in 1724, leaving an only daughter and heir Jane, who was twice married, first to John Carney, esq. and secondly to John Shrimpton, esq. both of whom the survived, and died in 1726 S. P. She devised this manor, with the rest of her estates, to her kinsman John Davis, D. D. who died in 1766, and his only son and heir John Davis, esq. alienated it, to John Cole, esq. of Horsemonden, who is now proprietor of it.

SHIPHURST is another manor in the western part of this parish, which was possessed by owners of that name till the latter end of king Edward III, and then it became the property of William Atweld, owner likewise of Cheveney before-mentioned, in whose descendants they continued till the beginning of king Henry VI. and then they were both passed by sale to Couper, from which name this manor was soon afterwards alienated to Field, and his descendant Edward Field held it in the 4th year of queen Elizabeth, and afterwards gave it to his kinsman Thomas Gilbert, whose successor of the same name settled it on his widow Sibil Gilbert, whose second husband Richard Knight, possessed it, in her right, in the year 1656. (fn. 5) After some intermediate owners, it passed into the name of Mitchell, and Charles Mitchell, of London, possessed it in 1734, after whose death it came to his brother-in-law Mr. George Whyvall, of London, from whence it passed to Mr. Peirse, of London, who about the year 1760 alienated it to Mr. Thomas Twort, of Horsemonden, whose two sons Thomas and David Twort afterwards possessed it; the latter of whom devised his moiety of it to his nephew John Coleman, whose son John Coleman, together with the last-mentioned Mr. Thomas Twort, now possess this manor in undivided moieties. A court baron is held for it.

MONKTON is a manor in that part of this parish next to Staplehurst, in which part of the lands belonging to it lie. It formerly belonged to the priory of Leeds, (fn. 6) and after the suppression of it in the reign of Henry VIII. was granted to Thomas Colepeper, esq. of Bedgebury, who soon afterwards sold it to Thomas Wilsford, esq. and he in the 7th year of queen Elizabeth, alienated it to Edward Herbert, from which name it passed by sale, at the latter end of that reign, to Thomas Stanley, in whose family it remained till the reign of king James I. when it passed by sale to Board, of Sussex, in whose descendants it continued till about 1756, when it was, soon after the death of Mr. William Board, alienated by his heirs to John Henniker, esq of West Ham, in Essex, since Sir John Henniker, bart. who is the present owner of it.

The family of Henniker, Heneker, or as it was originally called, De Henekin, has been of long continuance in this county. One of them, Peter de Henekin, was lieutenant-governor of Dover castle in the reign of king Edward II. They afterwards, in the reign of Edward IV. wrote themselves Heneker, and resided in different parishes of this county, where their estates lay, as may be seen in the different volumes of this history. John Henniker, who died at Lenham in 1616, was ancestor to those of Chatham and Rochester, from whom descended Sir John Henniker, bart. now of West Ham, the present possessor of this estate, who in 1758 served the office of sheriff for Essex. He married Anne, the eldest of the two only daughters and coheirs of Sir John Major, bart. of Worlingworthhall, in Suffolk, (the other daughter Elizabeth marrying Henry, duke of Chandois) by whom he had three sons, John Henniker Major, esq. M. P. for Steyning, who married Miss Emely Jones; Major, a merchant in London, who married Miss Mary Phœnix, and died in 1789; and John, colonel in the army; and one daughter Elizabeth, married to Edward Stratford, earl of Aldborough. Lady Henniker lies buried in the south isle of Rochester cathedral, under a most beautiful monument. Sir John Major was created a baronet in 1765, and the title was limited, in default of his issue male, to his son-in-law John Henniker, esq. before-mentioned, and his heirs male, at which time a patent also passed for the latter to quarter the arms of Major, viz. Azure, three pillars of the Corinthian order, on the top of each a ball, or, with those of Henniker; Gules, a chevron charged with three estoils, argent, two crescents in chief, and an escallop shell in base, azure. Sir John Major died in 1781, upon which the title of baronet descended to his son-inlaw, now Sir John Henniker, bart. the present possessor of this manor, and late member in two successive parliaments for the town and port of Dover.

READ is a manor in this parish, the mansion of which, called Read-court, is situated on the northern side of it. It was once the inheritance of the noted family of Fremingham, one of whom, John, son of Sir Ralph de Fremingham, of Lose, died in the 12th year of Henry IV. possessed of this manor, and leaving no issue, he by his will devised it to feoffees, who by deed, next year, assigned it over accordingly to John, son of Reginald de Pimpe, and his heirs male, with remainder to Roger Isley, as being nearest of blood to him. (fn. 7)

It seems afterwards to have come into the possession of the Isleys, for William Isley, esq. was possessed of it at the time of his attainder, in the 1st year of queen Mary, by which his lands became forfeited to the crown; whence this manor was granted that year to Sir John Baker, attorney-general, to hold in capite, whose son Sir Richard Baker afterwards possessed it, but in the 10th year of queen Elizabeth's reign it was come into the possession of Edward Morrys, who held it of the queen, in manner as before-mentioned. In later times it was become the property of Master, one of which name, Giles Master, held it in 1652, as appears by the survey of Marden manor then taken. In his descendants it continued some time, but at length. after some intermediate owners, it came into the possession of Nicholas Bonfoy, esq. sergeant-at-arms of the house of commons, who at his death in 1775 devised it by his will to Mr. S. H. Babb, one of the officers of that house, and he is the present owner of it.

TILDENS, TUBBINS, and BROOKE, are three small manors in this parish, which had formerly three separate owners of those names; the first were persons of some note in this county, and were possessed of estates both at Kennington, Brenchley, and Tilmanstone likewise, so early as the reign of king Edward III. These three families continued in the possession of these manors till the latter end of Henry IV.'s reign, and then one of the family of Tubbins passed away that manor to Tilden, in which name both Tildens and Tubbins remained till the beginning of king Henry VI.'s reign, and then they were demised by sale to Thomas Stidulfe, esq. who, as appears by his will in 1453, had likewise purchased Brooke manor of Richard Brooke.

His grandson Thomas Stidulfe, esq. of Badsell, left an only daughter and heir Agnes, who carried these three manors in marriage to Richard Fane, esq. of Tudeley, from whom they descended, in like manner as Mereworth, to John Fane, earl of Westmoreland, and from him again, together with the barony of Le Despencer, down to the right hon. T. Stapleton, lord le Despencer, who is the present possessor of them. (fn. 8)

THE LIBERTY of the corporation of Maidstone claims over the manor of Tildens, which is situated near Style-bridge, where there is likewise an estate called Little Tildens, which in 1675 belonged to Thomas Wall, gent. of London. It lately was the property of Nicholas Haddock, esq. who sold it to John Cole, esq. the present possessor of it.

There was a family of the name of Symons, which resided at Marden for some generations; one of whom Edward Symons, gent. in 1652, held lands here, late Sir John Packington's. In 1662 he had a grant of this coat of arms, Party per fess, sable, and, or, a pale and three cinquefoils, counterchanged. (fn. 9) He resided here in 1663, and was possessed of much land in this parish.

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