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Biographies of Vicars of Benenden, 1323-1888
By diligent search of the Archbishops’ Registers at Lambeth, the
books of First Fruits and Institution in the Public Record Office,
documents at Canterbury and other sources, an authentic account may be
obtained of about fifty Vicars.
1. Henry le WHITE is the first name which has come down to us. He is
described as a Presbyter, and was admitted and instituted on the ninth
day of October A.D. 1323, to the Vicarage of the Church of Benenden, to
which he had been presented by the Religious House of Combwell, the true
patrons of the same. Register. Archiepisc. Cantuar. (British Museum Ad.
MS 6062 & c. p. 29).
2. William of DOVOR (resigned).
3. Galfridus CADENAY alias Cadenay, on the 25th of November 1361 was
at Otford admitted to the Vicarage of Benenden, in the Diocese of
Canterbury, rendered vacant by the resignation of Sir William of Dovor,
the last Vicar there, in the hands and presentation of the Prior and
Convent of Combwell.
4. Alan BOYS, Chaplain, on the 9th of March 1385 was, at Lambeth,
admitted by the Lord Archbishop to the Parish Church of Benenden,
vacant, in the gift of Edmund STABLEGATE and Alice his wife, etc.
5. Philip HAMON, Chaplain, on the 18th day of June 1389, was at
Croydon, admitted to the Perpetual Vicarage of the Parish Church of
Benenden, in the Diocese of Canterbury, being vacant, in the
presentation of the Prior and Convent of Combwell. He exchanged with his
successor for Eastry, and afterwards, in 1414, for the Rectory of
6. Thomas GOLDYNGTON, became Vicar April 1 1404, having been
previously at Eastry: after holding Benenden five years, he again
effected an exchange for St. John’s, Margate.
7. Thomas BARRE. On September 2 1409 the Archbishop authorised an
exchange between Thomas Goldyngton, Vicar of Benenden, and Thomas Barre
perpetual Vicar of S. John’s, Margate, in the gift of the Abbot and
Convent of St. Augustine’s, Canterbury. After two years Barre again
exchanged Benenden, for St. Nicholas Rochester.
8. Thomas CLERE having been previously Vicar of St. Nicholas,
Rochester, exchanged the same for the Vicarage of Benenden in December
1411; he however held the latter less than twelve months.
9. Bartholomew Atte WODE. A Certificate of Henry Beaufort, Bishop of
Winchester, dated October 1412, sanctions an exchange between
Bartholomew Atte Wode Vicar of Ebbesham, and Thomas Clere of Benenden.
10. William de KIRKEBY, formerly Rector of Bytelstede, exchanged the
same for Benenden in September 1415, and in less than a year again
effected an exchange with his successor for the Parish of Aldermanbury,
11. Thomas MARCHAM obtained this Benefice in 1416 by exchange for the
Parish of Aldermanbury, London, as appears by the Certificate, but in
1423 removed to Shorne.
12. John GRENEHILL, having previously held the Vicarage of Shorne, in
the Diocese of Rochester, exchanged the same for Benenden in 1423, but
held it only two years, his death occurring in 1425.
13. John MANNYNG, a Chaplain, on July 25 1425, was at Maidstone
admitted to the perpetual Vicarage of the Parish Church of St. George,
Benenden, in the Diocese of Canterbury, vacant by the death of John
Grenehill, the last Vicar there in the gift of the Prior and Convent of
the Blessed Mary of Combwell.
14. John MASHAM, formerly Vicar of Heckfield, which he exchanged for
Benenden in 1425, this latter however he resigned after a few months.
15. Thomas ALSTON, Chaplain, was on the 15th June 1426 admitted, at
Higham-Ferrers, to the Vicarage of Benenden, vacant by the resignation
of John Massham, the last Vicar there, in the gift of the Prior and
Convent of Combwell. Alston resigned within a month.
16. Thomas KNOCKERE, Chaplain, was admitted Vicar in July 1426, but
died in less than a year.
17. John SOMERBY was presented to the Vicarage of Benenden by the
Prior and Convent of Combwell on the last day of June 1427, and after
holding it twenty years tendered his resignation.
18. Robert MELLER was admitted Vicar of St. George’s, Benenden in
July 1447, the benefice being vacant by the resignation of Somerby, and
in the patronage of the Prior of Combwell.
19. Henry CRANEBROKE was Prior of the House of St. Mary Madalene,
Combwell, and in December 1455 the Archbishop authorised an exchange
with William WATSON, Rector of Eythorne. In December 1458
20. Henry Cranebroke exchanged Eythorne for the Vicarage of
Cranbrook, with one Thurstan BOLDE. This latter was instituted to
Cranbrook August 10 1458. (Annals of Cranbrook Church by W. Tarbutt.
21. William WATSON, according to Hasted, was appointed to Benenden in
1461 and died in 1473 (Wills Prerog. off. Cant).
22. Thomas HEIKAR, M.A. was admitted February 24 1473 to the
Perpetual Vicarage of the Parish Church of Benenden, vacant by the death
of Sir William Watson, the last Vicar there in the patronage of the
Prior and Conventual Church of Combwell.
23. William CLYFFORD was admitted by the Archbishop to the Vicarage
of Benenden in June 1482, vacant by the death of Mr Hekyr, and for this
turn in the gift of Alexander Colpepyr, Esquire.
24. Richard WYLLESFORD is mentioned by Hasted with the note:
"Will Prerog. Off. Cant".
25. George CROWMER was admitted to the Vicarage of S. George’s,
Benenden, October 27, 1513, vacant by the death of the last Incumbent,
and in the patronage of the Prior and Convent of Combwell. This Vicar is
mentioned in the Valor Ecclestiasticus, or survey completed in the 27th
year of Henry VIII. (Georgius Crom. .96).
26. Henry STRENSHAM. The name of this Vicar is found in the First
Fruits Composition Books at the Record Office. (Persons compounding for
First Fruits Hen.Streynsham Cl.2 Aug. 35, Hen.8 Series I. Vol.I. Com.
Kanc). Upon the death of the last Incumbent, Strensham was admitted in
June 1542 to the Vicarage of Benenden, having been presented to the same
by Sir John GAGE, Knight. He enjoyed the Benefice only three years.
27. Richard WATER. S.T.B. succeeded to Benenden upon the death of
Strensham, and was admitted by the Archbishop at Lambeth in June 1545,
the patronage being then vested in the hands of Sir John GULDEFORD,
Knight. (first Fruits: Ricus Water 15 June 37. H.8). [This Vicar is
mentioned in the Archdeacon’s Visitations: fols. 13, 40, 84, 126).
28. William DARRELL, M.A. having been presented to the Vicarage of
Benenden by Sir John and Lady Mary GULDEFORD, was admitted to the same
by the Archbishop in November 1561. The benefice had been rendered
vacant by the death of Richard Water. Darrell was also Rector of Little
Chart, but did not reside there: Archdeacon’s Visitation 1550-55 (fols.
12, 40, 84, 126). At a Visitation held in Ashford Church in 1563 it was
presented that William Darrell was non resident, and the Vicarage stood
in need of repairs (f.5). The Curate was Maurice PENNYALL, but they had
no parson last quarter. First Fruits. Wilts Dorell. 27 Mar. 5. Eliz).
29. In A.D. 1569 the Vicarage was vacant, the Church being served by
George GRAYNE, a married man holding no other benefice. He did not
preach, nor was he a Graduate. There were at that time 148 houses, and
547 Communicants in the Parish. (F.14).
30. William SMYTH, upon the 27th of January 1576 was admitted by the
Archbishop to the Perpetual Vicarage of the Parish Church of Benenden,
the patronage having lapsed to Queen Elizabeth. (First Fruits, Wiltus
Smith, 28 Jan. 19. Eliz).
31. Mark SAUNDERS was instituted to the Parish Church of Benenden in
February 1579, the presentation to the same being again in the hands of
the Crown. The paving of the Chancel having been presented at the
Visitation as being in "some decay for want of paving",
Saunders certified in 1581 that it had been repaired. Two years later
complaint was made that the Vicar did not wear the Surplice, and
neglected to Catechise the young. (First Fruits: M. Saunders Cl.22
32. Walter JONES, M.A. was instituted on the last day of March 1586,
the Church having been rendered vacant by the death of the last
Incumbent. The Crown once more presented in consequence of the minority
of Sir Henry GULDEFORD, Knight. After holding the Benefice upwards of
twenty years Jones was deprived. (Whitgift.466.b. p.233).,(First Fruits:
Walters Jones 8 Apr. 28.Eliz). In 1558 this Vicar is thus mentioned in
the Archdeacon’s Visitation: Visitacio dni Archini Cant. Decanatus
Charinge: "Bennenden. Vicarius dns Walterus Jones artiu magr. compt".
33. Vincent HUFFAM, M.A. was Vicar of Seasalter in 1596, and in April
1608 was instituted to Benenden, his patron being Sir Henry GULDEFORD,
Knight. Huffam resigned both these Benefices in 1611. That Huffam was a
married man appears from an amusing Presentment made at the Archdeacon’s
Visitation. (First Fruits: Vincent Huffam 6 Jan. 6 Jac).
34. Richard AUSTEN, B.A. Upon the resignation of Huffam, Sir Henry
GULDEFORD, Knight, appointed Richard Austen as his successor. The
Archbishop instituted him June 1611. According to Hasted he died in
1643. Abbot. 388. a.p. 150. (First Fruits: Ricus Austen 6 Jun. 9 jac).
35. Nathanial WILMOTT, B.A., was instituted according to Hasted March
22 1643, his patroness having been Sarah SHARP, widow, hac. vice. The
Liber Institutionum however gives November 13 1646 as the date. (Lib.Inst.
p.20 at Record Office. 13 Nov. 1646. Nath: Willmott £17.12s.6d. First
Fruits. 13 Nov.22 Carol).
36. Joseph USBORNE, alias OSBORN, was admitted to Benenden Vicarage
by Oliver CROMWELL in 1658. Particulars of his appointment are to be
found at Lambeth Library. He held the Benefice until his ejectment in
1662. Calamy notices at length the career of this Vicar, and states that
one Austin was turned out of the living for insufficiency, and that the
people got Osborn to preach among them. It is certain however that
Nathaniel Wilmott was his immediate predecessor. He is said to have
preached in Sussex, as well as in London, and various parts of Kent,
after his ejectment from Benenden, and finally retired to Staplehurst,
where he died December 28 1714 at the ripe age of 85.
37. Staplehurst Parish Register. 1714, Jan.3. Buried Jos. USBORN.
1712, Febr.20. Buried the wife of Jos. Usborne. There is an altar tomb
in the churchyard there, near the south porch, thus inscribed: (on the
south side). Here’s intered ye body of Mr Joseph Usborne, Minister of
ye Gospel, who departed this life December ye 28 1714 aged 85 years. (On
the north side) Also ye body of his dearly loving wife Mrs Grace Usborne
who departed this life February ye 16th 1712 in the 81st year of her
It seems probable that Usborne selected Staplehurst as his
place of retirement, because in Daniel POYNTELL, the Rector, he found a
kindred spirit, both being ejected from their Benefices by the
Bartholomew Act of 1662.
Major Usborne, the present possessor of ‘Loddenden’,
Staplehurst, states that Joseph was third son of Thomas Usborne of
Loddenden, further that he "appears as family arbitrator" and
that his small branch died out.
Benenden [V]. Mr Joseph USBORNE.
One Austin being turned out of this living for
insufficiency, the people got Mr Osborn to preach among them for half a
year, during which time he had an invitation to a place in Sussex.
The people of Benenden having notice of it, met together,
and united in an earnest request to Mr Osborn to continue with them. As
the income was but small, they readily entered into a subscription to
increase it to £60.
The Patron of the living being abroad with KING CHARLES, it
fell into the hands of a committee in London to provide for the place.
When the Protector took upon him to place and displace
Ministers Mr Osborn was tried by a committee, when he brought a
certificate from the people, and another from the neighbouring Ministers
as to his abilities and behaviour. He obtained the Protector’s order
for the living, and the Vicarage house being gone to decay, the
committee agreed to repair it.
At the Restoration in 1660, when all the Ministers whom
Oliver put in, were to be immediately turned out, HENDON, Esq., the
patron who came over with King Charles, finding Mr Osborn greatly
beloved by the people, and knowing the living to be but small, would not
present any one in his room. His brother also (afterwards Sir John
Hendon) desired him to continue there and, if he possibly could, to
But he told him that faith and a good conscience would
stand him in more stead than a hundred livings, and he quitted this
Vicarage in 1662.
Mr BUCK, the Dean of Rochester, promised him a better
living than Benenden, provided he would conform. To which he answered,
that if he could have conformed at all, it should have been at Benenden
rather than for any other place whatever. His integrity was the more
remarkable, as he had six children when he was silenced, and his wife
was not got up from lying in of the last of them.
After his ejectment, he lived for sometime in Staplehurst,
and then went to Heathfield, Sussex, where he had four children more,
and there he continued for several years. He afterwards preached nine
years at Brightelmstone (Brighton). About 1681, he was sued for £20 a
month, on account of his Nonconformity. Upon this he came to London, and
preached some time at Peckham. He afterwards went to Ashford, and from
thence to Tenterden, where he continued about nine years.
He spent about nine years more at Bearsted, near Maidstone,
where he concluded his ministry, by reason of his infirmities, and then
returned to Staplehurst, where he finished his course, December 28 1714
(Ministers ejected or silenced in Kent. The continuation of
the Nonconformists’ Memorial, by Edmund Calamy. III. p.537. Pub.1727.
Also Register and Chronicle, by Bp. White Kennett, p.286, pub.1728).
First Fruits: Josephus Usborne, Feb.1658. (See also Brief Hist. of
Staplehurst Independent Church, 1662-1888, by Rev. Thos. Thatcher,
Presentation by Oliver CROMWELL, Benenden. Know all men by
these presents that the 20th day of July 1658 there was exhibited to the
Commissioners for approbabacon of publique preachers a Presentacon of
Joseph Usborne Clerke to the Vicarage of Benenden, in the Countie of
Kent, made to him by his Highnesse Oliver Lord Protector of the
Commonwealth of England etc. the Patron thereof under the greate seale
of England together with a Testimony etc. In witnesse etc. Dated at
Whitehall the 20th day of August 1658 Jo.Nye, Registrar. (Augmentations
of Livings etc 1647-58, at Lambeth Library. Vol. 968.f.127).
Joseph Usborne, Clerke, admitted the 20th day of July 1658
to the Vicarage of Benenden in ye county of Kent upon a pres: exhibited
the same day from his Highnes the Lord Protector under the great seal of
England and Certificates from Robert GIBSON, A.BROUGHTON, Thomas MONINS,
Robert MASCALL, John PLAYER, John DURAND, Daniel POYNTELL, Edward
BRIGHT, Joseph WHISTON. (Augmentations Vol.999, f.71).
Feb.4 1657. Benenden. Ordered that the yearly sume of
fforty poundes bee graunted to and for increase of maintenance to the
ministr’ of Benenden in the county of Kent, and that the same bee from
time to time paid unto such godly and painfull preachers of the Gospell
as shall bee settled ministers there, and approued by the Commissioners
for approbacon of publique preachers To hold for such time as they shall
continue ministers there or further order which wee humbly certifie to
his Highness the Lord protector and the Councell. Edward Cressett,
Ra.HALL, John POCOCK, R. SYDENHAM, Richard YONG (Augmentations,
January 14 1658. Ordered that the possessors of the tithes
of Benenden in ye county of Kent parcell of the possions of the late
Archbpp of Canterbury the Lease whereof is for diverse yeares last past
expired doe account with these Trustees on the 10 day of ffebruary next
for the mesne profits of the said Rectory incurred since the expiracon
of the last Lease thereof when the Trustees doe appoint to treate with
him if hee will for a further estate in the prmisses. (Vol.980, f.377).
February 10 1658. Ordered, yet ye possessor of ye tithes of
Benenden in the County of Kent parcel of ye passions of ye late
Archbishop of Canterbury, the lease whereof is for diverse yeares last
past expired doe account with theise Trustees on ye 9th day of March
next for ye mesne pfits of ye said Tithes incurred since ye expiracon of
the last lease thereof, when the Trustees doe appoint to treat with him,
if he will, for a further Estate in ye prmises. (Same Vol. Augmentations
38. Nicholas MONYMAN was presented to Benenden Vicarage by Sir John
HENDEN, Knight, and instituted by the Archbishop in September 1662. He
was previously Master of Cranbrook Grammar School. The records there
contain this note: "1658 November 22 Nicholas Monyman of
Appledore", that being all that is said respecting his appointment
as master; and from the Parish Books it appears he was present at a
Vestry Meeting in 1661.
Then again the School records have this entry: 1663 April 6
Rev. John COOPER, Vicar of Cranbrook. Cooper had been Vicar only five
months before he had the Mastership of the School. He held both
appointments for some time. Monyman held the Mastership until Cooper was
appointed, and therefore did duty at Benenden for five months before he
This Vicar was buried at Benenden, as appears by the Parish
Register: January 22nd 1700. Nicholas Monyman, late Vicar.
39. John SAUNDERS, LL.B. took his degree from St John’s College,
Oxford, November 4 1697 and was by the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars
of that University presented to this Vicarage, his institution taking
place in July 1700. He died April 5 1724, aged 50 and was buried in
Benenden Church, where a Monument formerly existed bearing his Coat of
Arms. The Parish Register thus records his burial: 1724, April 10. The
Rev. John Saunders, Vicar.
40. John FETHERSTONE, B.A. was instituted to Benenden in April 1724,
having been presented thereto by Sir John NORRIS, Knight. He was
appointed Vicar of Leysdown July 18 1732 and also on the same day Rector
of Warden, both of which he resigned upon his induction into the
Vicarage of Bethersden April 6 1734. He died in 1747. (Archaeologia
Cant. xvi.92). (First Fruits p.36. Johes Fetherston. 21 April 1724.
Johes Norris mil.).
41. Thomas HUDSON was instituted in August 1732, the patronage of the
Church of Benenden being then in the hands of Sir John NORRIS, Knight.
(Gent. Mag. 1732).
42. John PRINCE, B.A. On the twenty-first day of May in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven hundred thirty nine in the presence of
Robert ROUS, Notary Publick, John Prince, Clerk, Batchelor of Arts was
instituted by the right Worshipful George PAUL, Doctor of Laws, Vicar
General of the most Reverend ffather in God John, by Divine Providence
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and Metropolitan,
into the Vicarage of the parish church of Benenden in the county of
Kent, and Diocese of Canterbury, vacant by the cession of the last
incumbent to which he was presented by Sir John Norris, Knight, the true
and undoubted patron thereof, he having first subscribed the several
articles and declaration and declared and taken the oaths by law
required, and the same day a mandate was issued for inducting the said
John Prince, directed to the Archdeacon of Canterbury or his official.
Potter 271. (First Fruits: John Prince 21 May 1739. Sir John Norris,
Bart). He died August 1741 (Hasted).
43. Benjamin SLOCOCK, D.D., was of Pembroke College, Oxford. On May 3
1712 he obtained the degree of B.A., his M.A. July 6 1715, B. and D.D.
June 23 1735 (Oxford Graduates, 608). Dr Slocock was collated to the
Vicarage of Benenden in 1741. It had lapsed to the Archbishop, Sir John
Norris not having presented in due time. (Gent. Mag. 1741, pp.554, 609).
On the 28th October 1741 his Grace the Archbishop of
Canterbury conferred on Benjamin Slocock Doctor in Divinity the Vicarage
of the parish church of Benenden, Kent, vacant by the death of John
Prince the last incumbent thereof, and belonging to the donation of
collation of his Grace by laps of time for this turn he having first
subscribed. (Potter 276.a.).
44. John WILLIAMS, S.C.L. was presented to this Vicarage in the room
of Dr Slocock, who resigned. A dispensation was given in 1761 to hold
the rectory of Ripple. His successor to the latter was appointed in
1764. (Gent. Mag. 1744. 282).
Williams resigned Benenden in 1761.
On 20th April 1744 in the presence of Robert ROUS, Notary
Publick, John Williams, Clerk, student in the civil law, was instituted
by the Right Worshipful George PAUL, Doctor of Laws, Vicar General of
the Most Reverend Father in God John, Archbishop of Canterbury and into
the Vicarage of the parish church of Benenden in Kent, vacant by the
resignation of Benjamin Slocock, D.D. the last Vicar to which he was
presented by Sir John NORRIS, Knight, of Benenden, the true and
undoubted patron. (Potter 288.b).
45. Joseph DUNN, M.A., took his degree from Magdalene College,
Cambridge, of which he was a Fellow, B.A. 1759, M.A. 1762. He was
presented to Benenden Vicarage in 1761 by Dame Elizabeth NORRIS, and
died November 23 1798.
On 4 December 1761 Joseph Dunn, B.A. was instituted into the Vicarage
of Benenden, Kent, void by the cession of John Williams, Clerk, the last
Vicar, to which he was presented by Dame Elizabeth Norris of Hempsted,
the true patroness. (Secker. 302.b).
46. Phillips MONYPENNY, M.A., graduated from St Peter’s College,
Cambridge, B.A. 1783, M.A. 1786, and in 1799 obtained a dispensation to
hold Benenden with Hadlow Vicarage (Gent. Mag. 1799, 540).
He married at Lambeth Palace Chapel December 13th 1803
Charlotte (born 28 April 1772), second daughter of Sir Edward DERING of
Surrenden-Dering, the sixth Baronet, by his second wife Deborah, only
daughter of John WINCHESTER, of Nethersole, Kent. She died in 1836
(Gent. Mag). Phillips Monypenny resigned the Vicarage of Benenden in
1803, and was Vicar of Hadlow upwards of forty years. He died at Hadlow
house January 4 1841 in the 79th year of his age, and was buried with
his wife in Rolvenden Church, where there is a tablet to their memory,
on the east wall of the north chancel, with the arms of Monypenny
quartering those of Dering.
Rolvenden Church. Underneath are deposited the remains of
Charlotte, wife of the Reverend Phillips MONYPENNY, A.M. of Maytham Hall
in this parish and Vicar of Hadlow in this county, second daughter of
Sir Edward DERING of Surrenden-Dering in this county, the sixth Baronet,
by his second wife Deborah, daughter of John WINCHESTER of Nethersole in
this county, Esq. Died xii November MDCCCXXXVI aged LXIV years.
Underneath are also deposited the remains of the above named Phillips
Monypenny who died January the IV MDCCCXLI aged LXXVIII years. (On a
black slate tablet). M.S. Carolettae Monypenny uxoris delectissimae hoc
posuit monimentum (sic) conjux moestissimus.
Arms. Vert a dolphin, urinant, (or in pale,) tail erect, or. Crest.
Neptune bestriding a dolphin, naiant, in waves of the sea, holding with
his dexter hand the reins, and in the sinister his trident, all ppr.;
over it the motto Temperat Aequor. Quarterings. 1. CATHCART, az. three
cross-crosslets, fitchee, issuing out of as many crescents, ar. 2.
BLACKWELL, paly of six, ar. and az. on a chief gu, a lion, passant,
guardant, or, all within a bordure ermine.
(For genealogy of Monypeny, see "Pedigrees of
Kent" by William Berry, page 313, pub. 1830).
For genealogical memoranda relating to the family of Dering
of Surrenden-Dering, in Pluckley, Kent, by the same author, F.H. see
Archaeologia Cantiana, x.327).
On 24 January 1799 in the presence of William MOORE, Notary
Publick, Phillips Moneypenny, Clerk, was instituted to the parish church
of Benenden, Kent, vacant by the death of Joseph Dunn, the last
incumbent to which he was presented by Thomas Hallet HODGES of Hempstead
Place, asserting himself to be the true and undoubted patron thereof.
47. Henry HODGES, B.A. On 12 October 1803 Henry Hodges, Clerk,
Bachelor of Arts, was instituted to the Vicarage and parish church of
Benenden, Kent, void by the resignation of Phillips Monypenny, Clerk,
the last incumbent to which he was presented by Thomas Law HODGES of
Hemstead, the true and undoubted patron. (Potter 574).
48. Henry HODGES, M.A. On 14 September 1804 Henry Hodges, Master of
Arts, was instituted to the Vicarage and parish church of Benenden, void
by the cession of Henry Hodges, Clerk, the last incumbent there, to
which he was presented by Thomas Law HODGES of Hemstead, Kent. (Potter
49. Daniel BOYS, M.A., graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge,
taking the degree of B.A. IN 1799, and that of M.A. in 1810. His patrons
were Charles CARTWRIGHT and others, who in 1805 appointed him Vicar of
Benenden, which he held for more than half a century. He was enabled
also by dispensation granted in 1809, to hold the Vicarage of Brookland.
(Ecclesiastical Annual Register III. 398, pub. 1810).
He married November 9 1807 at Benenden Church Miss Sarah
Rider RICHARDSON, youngest daughter of the late William RIDER, Esq. of
Bermondsey, Surrey. (Gent. Mag. LXXVII, p. 1074).
By this marriage he had twelve children, whose names are
given on his monument in the churchyard. He died September 11 1857 aged
80 years. (Gent. Mag. 1857, p.465) and was buried here.
Parish Register. 1857 September 17. Daniel BOYS, Benenden,
80. Ceremony performed by Philip WARD, Vicar of Tenterden.
On the 29 November 1805 Daniel Boys, B.A. was instituted to
the Vicarage and parish church of Benenden, Kent, vacant by the cession
of the Reverend Henry Hodges, Clerk, the last incumbent, to which he was
presented by Charles CARTWRIGHT, heretofore of Narnham, County Notts,
but now of White Waltham, County Berkshire, the Rev. John LAW, D.D.,
Archdeacon of Rochester, Reverend John DISNEY, late of Chelsea now of
Hyde near Ingatestone, D.D., and C. LAMB, asserting themselves to be the
true patrons. (Sutton II.5).
50. William John EDGE, M.A. was a scholar of Emmanuel College,
Cambridge, and it is a somewhat remarkable fact that he was the fifth,
and his son, W.H.F. Edge, the present Vicar of Tilford, Surrey, the
sixth, member of his family, in successive generations, who were
educated at that College.
He took the degree of B.A. (Senior Optime) in 1834, and
that of M.A. in 1837, being ordained Deacon June 5 1836 by the Bishop of
Gloucester, at St Margaret’s, Westminster, on letters Dimissory from
the Bishop of London (Church of England Magazine, I., Ecclesiastical
Intelligence, I., 1836), and Priest by the Bishop of London May 21 the
following year. He served as Curate of St Nicholas, Colchester, from
When Priest Mr Edge was presented by his father to the
Rectory of Waldingfield, a small parish in the Deanery of Colneis, in
the county of Suffolk, and shortly afterwards when Bishop Stanley, of
Norwich, revived the Office of Rural Deans in that diocese, he was
appointed Rural Dean, and held the Office till he removed from the
Diocese in 1848. In this year he was appointed Perpetual Curate of
Hartshill, Warwickshire, and in 1851 took sole charge of St John’s,
Cheltenham. After this was Rector of St Aldate, Gloucester, 1854 to
1858, when he was appointed Vicar of Benenden by the Right Honourable
Gathorne HARDY, MP, the present Lord CRANBROOK.
Soon after Mr Edge came into residence at Benenden a farmer
(at whose house, a mile and a half distant from the church, a Wesleyan
service was held on Sunday evenings) happened to tell him that the local
preacher who conducted it was on the point of removal, and that the
people were greatly perplexed by the difficulty of finding a successor.
Mr Edge replied that he knew of one who might possibly suit them, that,
in fact, it was none other than himself, who was sent into the parish
for the express purpose of teaching its inhabitants; and that he was
quite ready to carry on the service as hitherto, with extempore prayers
if the people wished it, though he should himself rather use the Litany,
and that he would have no objection to Wesley’s hymns, on condition
that the selection of them was always left to him. The farmer, himself a
Wesleyan, jumped at the offer, and said that the poor people would be
very grateful; that – as to the prayers – they all had a great love
for the Litany, "and, Sir", he added, "bring your own
hymn book!". His wife, also a Wesleyan, begged leave to introduce
an harmonium, which she would gladly play. The immediate result was,
that the old service was not interrupted, but continued without any
break or intermission for some four or five years, until a new tenant
came into residence, by which time not a few of the congregation had
become regular attendants at church, and some of them, including the
Wesleyan farmer, communicants.
In the summer of 1865 an incident occurred to which Mr Edge
always referred with particular pleasure. A French clergyman, M. le
Chanoine CHENNAILLES, whom he had casually met the year before in Paris,
and who had been very courteous to him, accepted an invitation to spend
a few days with him at Benenden, in the company of a lay friend, who
held an office in his church, not unlike that of an English
churchwarden. He stipulated that he might wear his sontane, or cassock,
"for", said he, "to speak frankly, I have no lay clothes
to wear". I willingly assented, and when at my request the tidal
train was stopped for the travellers’ convenience, there was a great
sensation at Staplehurst station, the general impression being that the
Archbishop of Canterbury was the favored party. And when in a morning
the good man used to walk round the green, reading his Breviary, the few
who met him invariably moved or touched their hats, perhaps taking him
for the Archbishop or Chief Rabbi. Had he read aloud, perhaps some idea
might have been conveyed to them, as in the case of a former Vicar of
Coggeshall, in Essex, who being in the habit of reading aloud in his
garden, was set down as a lunatic by a neighbour, who could both see and
hear him, till one Sunday morning, as he began to read his sermon over,
and in a sonorous voice uttered his text "I am not mad, most noble
Festus", the neighbour ceased to regard him as crazy, and always
said of him afterwards, "O no, he is not mad, but a very pleasant
and courteous old gentleman".
The Vicar’s Parisian friend, who was made a Canon of
Notre Dame, soon after his return home, was so charmed by his reception
that he invited him to Paris in 1866 and introduced him to many of his
brother clergy, and above all to the good Archbishop DARBOY, afterwards
murdered by the Commune.
This excellent man, amongst other good things, said to Mr
Edge: "There are barriers between us that we did not erect, and
which neither you nor I can demolish. But though we are debarred from
visible union we can cultivate concord, or unity of hearts, we can love
one another and pray for one another, and trust to God for the
The Rev. W.J. Edge preached his last sermon at Benenden,
April 15 1877, when he reminded his hearers that he had been their
spiritual pastor more than nineteen years. During that period great
changes had been wrought, the parish church almost rebuilt, by their
Squire’s munificence, and a Mission room erected at East End, besides
new schools (those near the church as well as those at East End).
During the period of his Vicariate 889 persons had been
baptized (715 by his own hand), 465 parishioners had been buried (331 by
himself), and he had at the parish church and at East End preached about
The Vicar closed his parting address with St Paul’s
words, where he bade farewell to the elders of the Church of Ephesus:
"And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His
grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance
among all them that are sanctified".
After holding Benenden nearly twenty years, he exchanged
this Benefice with his successor for the Vicarage of Holy Trinity, Upper
Tooting, which he resigned in 1882.
William John EDGE was appointed select preacher at the
University of Cambridge, 1855, and is the author of the following works:
The Vision of Peace, or Thoughts in verse on the late
secessions to Rome, 1847.
A Lecture on Infidelity, 1849.
A letter to Lord Ashley on the alleged Romanistic
Tendencies of the younger clergy, 1850.
An Essay towards union, being a treatise on election and
final perseverance, 1850, pp.33.
Plain remarks on infant baptism, confirmation, and the
three Orders of the Christian Ministry with answers to
objections to the Burial Service, 1850.
The Second Adam, a course of lectures designed to
illustrate the divinity of our Lord, and the union of the divine
and human natures in his sacred person,
Two sermons, preached at Chipping Campden, on Christianity
and the groundlessness of the Romish Claims, April
The bodily worship of the Glorified, sermon preached
at Chiddingstone Church, Kent, May 2 1867 on the opening
of the new organ.
A sermon preached at Benenden, February 24 1867 on the
death of Thomas NEVE of that parish, pp.14.
A sermon preached at Croydon at a general ordination for
the Diocese of Canterbury, March 18 1870, entitled
"The Christian ministry a twofold service of obedience
and charity", printed at the request of Archbishop TAIT.
Also various other sermons printed at the request of the
Thoughts on the care of God for his creatures, 1878, pp.15.
51. Edward David CREE, graduated from Oriel College, Oxford,
receiving his B.A. in 1849, and M.A. in 1852. Was ordained Deacon in
1850, and Priest 1851, Dur. He held the curacy of Newburn,
Northumberland, 1850 to 1852, and tutorship of St Peter’s College,
Radley, 1852-1855. After holding the Vicarage of Holy Trinity, Upper
Tooting, from 1855 to 1877, he exchanged the same for the Vicarage of
Benenden. He was appointed Commissary for the Bishop of Kaffraria in
1882. Mr Cree resigned Benenden in 1887, having been Vicar ten years,
during which period he greatly improved the Glebe House by adding a new
front. He now resides in Eastbourne.
The incumbency of this Vicar was marked by the re-fronting
of the Vicarage at the cost to himself of £1000; and the addition of a
chancel to East End Chapel by Lord CRANBROOK, also the erection of St
George’s Club, and the well, close to the Manor house, in honour of
the Queen’s Jubilee, likewise generously provided by the noble Lord.
Mr Cree married in 1855 Augusta, daughter of Rev. C.E.
PLATER, Vicar of Newchurch (Gent. Mag. xliv 641); and in 1866, Isabel
Laura, daughter of John TAYLOR, Esq. architect. By the latter he has had
Norah Lilian (deceased), Herbert Edward, Ernest Wilford, Mary Gwendoline,
Edgar Hayley and Effie Edgington.
As author and editor, the works of the Rev. E.D. Cree are:
Dr Tye’s Motetts for four voices.
Church psalm tunes, exclusively from
The Threshold of the Sanctuary, a
devotional manual for candidates for Holy Orders.
The universal plein chant psalter.
Late editor of Mission Life.
True portrait of the primitive church.
52. Samuel JOY, M.A. took the degree of B.A. from Worcester College,
Oxford, in 1856, when he was awarded by the Examiners a double Honorary
Class in the School of Classics and Mathematics, and advanced to the
degree of M.A. in 1859, was ordained Deacon in 1857, and Priest 1858.
His first Clerical appointment was to the curacy, precentorship and
lectureship of Leeds, under Dr HOOK, which he held from 1857 to 1859,
when he was appointed Perpetual Curate of Bramley, Yorkshire, which
living he resigned in consequence of ill health in 1866. In 1872 he
accepted the Vicarage of Long Lane, Derbyshire, until 1875, when the
Precentorship of Ripon Cathedral, together with the Vicarage of Ripon
were offered to him. This semi-Cathedral, semi-parochial appointment he
held until 1884, when he accepted the less laborious charge of the
Vicarage of Birstwith, Yorkshire, and was at the same time collated to
an Honorary Canonry in Ripon Cathedral. Canon Joy only held the Vicarage
of Birstwith for two years, when he was preferred by Viscount CRANBROOK,
to the Vicarage of Benenden, where he now resides.
The Arms borne by the Vicar are:
Joy. az. a chev. arg. between 3 fleur de
lis in chief, and a demi lion ramp. in base, of the last. Crest: a hand
holding an arrow point downwards.Motto:
Manus justa nardus.
The family of his wife:
ROBINS: Per pale sa. and ar. two
flaunches, and three fleur de lis, all counterchanged. Crest: Between
dolphins haurient, respecting each other,
or. a fleur de lis per pale, ar. and sa. Motto: Esse quam videri.
53. 1563. Maurice PENNYALL.
1569. George GRAYNE, a married man.
1851-58. William Wheeler THORNTON, Trinity College, Oxford, B.A.
1844, M.A. 1848. Curate of Benenden
1851-58, Rector of Horne, Surrey 1867-77.
1860-62. Andrew Augustus Wild DREW, Trinity College, Cambridge. BA.
1859, M.A. 1863. Curate of
Benenden 1860-62. Vicar of St Antholin’s, Nunhead 1865.
1862-64. George Hollis GLAY, Clare College, Cambridge. B.A. 1860,
M.A. 1864. Benenden 1862-64. Vicar of
Leinthall-Starkes, Diocese of Hereford 1872, afterwards
Rector of Aston, Ludlow.
1865-68. Hugh Wilson BATEMAN, Trinity College, Cambridge. B.A. 1864.
Curate of Benenden 1865-68.
Vicar of Whitstable 1868-7, where he established St Peter’s
Mission Church, with Schools, and built the
Vicarage (account of All Saints’ Church, Whitstable, by
Sibert SAUNDERS, p. 39, Pub.1876), afterwards in
1871 Vicar of St John the Evangalist, Lambeth. Died c.1875.
1868-1875. Francis HASLEWOOD, A.K.C., F.S.A., younger son of the late
Rev. F.F. Haslewood, Rector of
Smarden. Deacon 1863, Priest 1864. Formerly Curate of
St Peter ad Vincula, Tower 1863-64. St Mary,
Bryanston Square 1864-66. St Luke, Marylebone
1866-68, Benenden 1868-75, when appointed Rector of
St Matthew’s, Ipswich. For Genealogy see
"Memorials of Smarden", Kent, 65,etc. by same author.
1875-1877. Richard ADDISON, Deacon 1856, Priest 1858. Formerly Curate
of King William’s Town, South
Africa 1856-58, Chaplain at Pernambuco 1865-74, Benenden
1875-77. Now at Madeira.
1878. John Jestin DREAPER, T.C.D. B.A. 1859. Curate of Benenden 1878,
Curate of Easby 1886.
1879. Frank Clifford FOX, late Lucy scholar of Hertford College,
Oxford. B.A. (2nd Cl. Theol. School) 1877.
Jun. Gr. Test. Pri 1878, M.A. 1880. Deacon 1877,
Priest 1878, Oxford. Formerly Curate of Wigginton,
1879Present Curate appointed .
54. James de BENYNDENNE v. the Prior of Combwell, Re. Parson to the
Kent. James de Benyndenne by his attorney offered himself
on the fourth day against the Prior of Cumbewell of a plea that he do
permit him to present a fit parson to the church of Benyndenne which is
void [and] belongs to his gift, etc. And he came not. And it was ordered
to the Sheriff that he should summon him etc. And the Sheriff has done
nothing therein but sent that he had ordered the bailiffs of the
Archbishop of Canterbury who have done nothing therein. Therefore it is
ordered to the Sheriff that he omit not on account of the aforesaid
liberty but that he summon him that he may be here in 8 days of Saint
Martin, etc. And also that he have the bodies of the bailiffs here at
the aforesaid term, etc. And whereof etc.
De Banco Roll. No. 10 Mich. 3 Edw. 2 (A.D. 1309) Ro. 48
55. Licence for the dedication of the church of Benynden.
Henry etc. to the venerable brother our Lord John by the
grace of God bishop of Symrna greeting and brotherly love in the Lord to
dedicate or consecrate the parish church of Benyngden of our diocese
newly constructed and churchyard of the same also three altars in the
same and to consecrate and bless four bells there.
Given at Slindon 20 April 1418.
56. Licence for the removal of the Feast of the dedication of the
By the tenor of these presents we Henry etc. that on the
part of the Rector and parishioners of the parish church of Benynden of
our diocese it appears intimated to us that the feast of the dedication
of the said church of Benenden on the feast of St Mathias – namely the
24 day of the month of February was accustomed to be celebrated that
however the said Rector and parishioners cannot observe the feast
without great inconvenience to themselves on that account they have
prayed us that the feast of the dedication of this church aforesaid be
celebrated and observed on the Monday next before the feast of the
translation of St Thomas, namely the fourth day of the month of July
upon which they could flock together more abundantly to the same church
to worship and honor God and offer up praises and prayers year by year
for ever we decree therefore being favourably inclined to the prayers
and intentions of the said Rector and parishioners that their proposed
prayer suggested itself for the honor of God and the increase of divine
worship we ordain and appoint the feast of the dedication of the
aforesaid church to be celebrated on the Monday next before the feast of
the translation of St Thomas aforesaid, namely the fourth day of the
month of July yearly for ever and that the Rector and parishioners
whosoever present and to come of the aforesaid church be summoned for
the observance and celebration of this feast on the day of dedication
Given in my manor of Slindon 1 June 1418 in the fifth year,
Index of Names and Places