history, we meet with charters containing royal
grants of land in different parts of Kent, especially in its
south-eastern locality, to which was attached "the use of the woods
in Andred;" again "the right of pasturage and feeding of a
herd of swine in the Andred's Weald;" again "Pasturage for
Swine which in our Saxon tongue we call denbera;" and again,
"In the woods called Andred 120 waggons of wood to support the
fires for preparing Salt."
The possession to which this right of pannage attached were
granted to the heads of the Church and the religious houses, as well as
to the military followers of the King, called thanes, from whom it has
been conjectured that Tenterden derived its name. There were three kinds
of thanes,—(1) Those who served the sovereign as
his attendants, and were succeeded by the Norman barons; (2) those who
served under dukes, earls, and the dignitaries of the Church, who
afterwards became lords of manors, with a limited jurisdiction; and a
third class, composed of freeholders of an inferior degree.
We have no evidence that Andred was originally a
forest of chase, but while Kent continued a distinct
kingdom its sovereign enjoyed a paramount control over it, including the
timber and other royalties.
In process of time, with an increasing population, a limit
was put to the general right of pannage, and we find grants to the
freemen of the laths of Limen, Wye, and Burg, now Shipway, Scray, and
St. Augustine, sometimes conferred by the sovereign with the consent of
"the princes and great men," at other times with the consent
of "the Wittan" or councillors of the nation, and these rights
at last became limited to certain defined districts called "denes,"
being the wooded valley of the forest yielding both covert and mast.
Names were now given to them; among the earliest we trace Frittenden,
Benenden, Biddenden, Surrenden, etc. These denes sometimes also bore the
name of the occupier, as our modern farms have subsequently done. While
these denes were all situate within the Weald, the possessions which
conferred them were scattered over different parts of Kent, especially
the eastern portion of it. They were approached