Rectors of Benenden
Church from a book,
published in 1889
by Rev Francis Haslewood, Rector of St Matthew's Church, Ipswich
with Index of names and
places at end
to Churchyards listed
Kindly typed up for the website by
Biographies of Vicars of Benenden,
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
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 Frinsted.
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.
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
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, London
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
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. Ministers. p.81).
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.
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
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.
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 Mar.22 Eliz).
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 age.
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 conform.
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
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 Bersted, 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 aged 85.
(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, pub.1888, p.11).
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.
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 980, f.510).
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 left Cranbrook.
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.
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
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. (Moore 555).
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.
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 578).
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 1836-1838.
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 rest".
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
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 1600 sermons.
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
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
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,
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 15.22.1855, pp.36.
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 hearers.
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
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 ancient
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
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 two 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.
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
St Mary, Bryanston Square 1864-66. St Luke, Marylebone 1866-68, Benenden
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
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 church.
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 dorso.
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
Given at Slindon 20 April 1418.
56. Licence for the removal of the Feast of the dedication of the said church.
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 aforesaid.
Given in my manor of Slindon 1 June 1418 in the fifth year, etc.
Index of Names and Places
Atte WODE 9
BOYS 4, 49
de BENYNDENNE 54
GOLDYNGTON 6, 7
GRAYNE 29, 53
GULDEFORD 27, 28, 32, 34
Hallet 46, 47
HODGES 46, 47, 48
NORRIS 40, 41, 44, 45
PAUL 42, 44
PENNYALL 28, 53
31, 39, 53
WATSON 19, 21, 22
Aldermanbury, London 10, 11
Aston, Ludlow 53
Hempsted 45, 48
Hempstead Place 46
Bermondsey, Surrey 49
Bersted, near Maidstone 37
Bramley, Yorkshire 52
Coggeshall, Essex 50
Dovor (Dover) 3
East End 50
Eythorne 19, 20
Hartshill, Warwickshire 50
Heathfield, Sussex 37
Hertford College 53
Holy Trinity, Upper Tooting 50
Horne, Surrey 53
Hyde near Ingatestone 49
King William’s Town,
South Africa 53
Lambeth 4, 27
Leinthall-Starkes, Hereford 53
Little Chart 28
Loddenden, Staplehurst 37
Long Lane, Derbyshire 52
Maytham Hall 46
Narnham, County Notts 49
Nethersole, Kent 46
Newburn, Northumberland 51
Ripon Cathedral 52
Shorne 11, 12
South Africa 53
St Aldate, Gloucester 50
St Antholin’s, Nunhead 53
St George’s Club 51
St John the Evangalist,
St John’s, Cheltenham 50
St Luke, Marylebone 53
St Margaret’s, Westminster 50
St Mary, Bryanston Square 53
St Matthew’s, Ipswich 53
St Nicholas, Colchester 50
St Peter ad Vincula, Tower 53
St Peter’s College, Radley 51
St. Augustine’s, Canterbury 7
St. John’s, Margate 6, 7
St. Nicholas Rochester 7, 8
Staplehurst 36, 37
Tenterden 37, 49
Tilford, Surrey 50
Waldingfield, Suffolk 50
White Waltham, Berkshire 49
Wigginton, Oxon 53
Bishop of Gloucester 50
Bishop of Kaffraria 51
Bishop of Winchester 9
Bishop Stanley, Norwich 50
Canon of Notre Dame 50
Combwell 1, 3, 5, 13, 15
Convent of Combwell 17, 18
Dean of Rochester 37
Prior & Conventual Church
of Combwell 22, 25
Prior of Cumbewell 54
St. Mary Madalene,
Wesleyan service 50
lectureship of Leeds 52
Memorials of Smarden 53
Mission room 50
Notary Publick 42
Queen Elizabeth I 30
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