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A Downland Parish - Ash by Wrotham in Former Times by W. Frank Proudfoot

                             Chapter 3 - The Manor of Scotgrove continued  page 32

in Ash,  Fawkham and Hartley as also, it is interesting to note, two water corn-mills called ‘Gretness-mylles’ in Sevenoaks. Other lands which were outside the lease, and so had come into the Crown’s hands, likewise included land in Ash, Fawkham and Hartley.21 Whether or not to recoup his modest penalty, Fane decided, about a year later, to sell some of his land in those three outlying parishes. He had no need to look far for a purchaser.
   There were at that time in Fawkham an up and coming yeoman family named Walter, who owned a freehold estate there called Penys or Pennis and were also lessees of the manor of Old Fawkham. The lands of Pennis extended into Ash and Hartley and in part abutted on Fane’s land. In 1556 Fane sold to Thomas Walter, the then head of that family, thirteen parcels of land and woodland in Ash, Fawkham and Hartley. The transaction is evidenced by a quitclaim, which named the several pieces of land; these included Scotgreve (sic) and ‘Chaunterye Crofte’.22  The document was silent as to any manor or manorial rights. It may be doubted whether the manor of Scotgreve, was a living entity, was then even a memory.
   Walter died within months of his purchase, leaving his lands to his son Thomas. In 1571 this Thomas bought 

the freehold of the Old Fawkham manor and, as he already owned some at least of the lands of Scotgrove, the pattern of a common ownership that had existed in the thirteenth century emerged once more, albeit a little tattered.
   Nearly twenty years later, Walter carried through a complicated legal process aimed at dividing his estates, subject to a life interest for himself, between his three sons. It began with a deed anticipatory of a Common Recovery and which referred, inter alia, to a messuage and one hundred and eighty acres of land in Ash and six acres of land and wood called ‘The Channterye’ in Hartley that Walter’s father had bought from Thomas Fane,23   It ended some months later with settlements on the three sons,
   Although Walter seems to have been moved by the spirit of gavelkind, the decent competence that he provided for his eldest son John, who had already joined the ranks of the gentry, included his manor and his mansion house. Of more immediate interest, it also comprised much of the land that the elder Thomas Walter had bought from Fane. This included Scotgrove Wood, eight acres in extent, and four parcels of land and wood lying together in Hartley, six acres in all, called ‘The Channtry’.24

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