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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 55 - 1942  page 26

The Clergy of St John the Baptist, Smallhythe by A.H. Taylor

IN Vol. XXX of our Transactions I contributed some account of Smallhythe Chapel and its clergy, but further research has revealed some additional names and other interesting particulars relating to this quaint old edifice so that it is felt a revised list is long overdue. The chapel is an interesting specimen of Tudor brickwork having been, according to evidence from wills, rebuilt in the years 1516-17 after the disastrous fire of 1514 which destroyed the old one and also a great part of the hamlet. Its characteristic features are described, with a few drawings, by Mr. Nathaniel Lloyd in a History of English Brickwork which he published in 1925. It may also be considered noteworthy as being one of the very few livings in England—certainly the only one in this diocese—where the parishioners had the right to elect their own minister; this, however, lapsed when the benefice was amalgamated with that of the mother parish of Tenterden in 1928. The following list of its clergy is here offered, not altogether in lieu of that appearing at pages 181-89 of the above-mentioned volume, but as supplementary, in particular it is to be noted that Percival Brett was not a curate and the mistake arose from the correspondent who furnished his name misreading the word "jurat" as "curat." Percival Brett the jurat served also as Mayor of Tenterden in

1609-10. So far from being a good churchman he was in 1606 presented1 by the Churchwardens of Ivychurch for not paying his cess of 23s. towards the reparation of that church, he occupying 188 acres of land in that parish, and also for not paying 11s. 6d. due in 1607. But he eventually paid both.2
   It is unfortunately still difficult to trace out some of the earlier names of the clergy. The records of the Archdeacons' Visitations which are preserved in the Chapter Library of Canterbury Cathedral (from which extracts have been kindly permitted) date from 1499 and contain the names of numerous Tenterden and Smallhythe clergy, but frequently no distinction is made between a chaplain serving in the Chantry at Tenterden Church and one serving at Smallhythe Chapel.
The earliest of which there is reliable record as a chaplain is
   whose name appears in the will (3) of Thomas Sherpey, sen., of Tenterden, made "the xiij day of Januer in MCCCCLXXVIII in the feste of Seynt Hellar"
   1 Comperta et Detecta, Vol. 18, 1606-7, fo. 107.
    2 Comperta et Detecta, Vol. 19, 1607, fo. 23.
    3 Archdeaconry Wills, A.3, 199.

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