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Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 14 -1882  pages 45
                                                     
THE EARLY HISTORY OF TENTERDEN. By Robert Furley, F.S.A.   Continued

A man killed another with a knife in coming from  Tenterden Church.
   A man killed a girl in shooting with an arrow at the Assize butt, in the borough of Bourwarsile.
   A return is made that Thomas de Tenwardine held an entire knight's fee, that he was of full age, and not yet a knight. To meet the expense of a foreign war, Edward I compelled those who possessed land of the value of 20 to take up their knighthood, which bound them to attend their sovereign to the wars, at their own expense, forty days in every year. It was afterwards commuted into a money payment, called "escuage."
  I have thus briefly shown how justice was administered in Tenterden six hundred years ago, the hundred and its boroughs being made responsible for the good behaviour of its inhabitants.
   Let us now leave the municipal proceedings of Tenterden, and dwell for a few moments on its ecclesiastical history.
   I have failed to ascertain at what period, and by whom, the first Christian church was founded in Tenterden.

The unappropriated portions of the forest belonged to the sovereign as Lord Paramount, and with them as ecclesiastical prerogative over the tithes, and the King might promote the erection of churches, endow them with tithes, and form parishes without the concurrence of the Pope or Bishop. The first church, whenever erected, had a newly created manor appendant to it, which at first could only have comprised a small part of the present parish. It no doubt stood on the site of the present one, and was made of ruder materials; we know that a church was in existence A.D. 1242, for the Plea Rolls of that date refer to it, and a priest was provided by the Abbot of St. Augustine's, to whom an annual pension was paid. Thirteen years later we have evidence that the right of patronage was in dispute. For it would appear, from the Plea Rolls of 1255, that a serious affray took place in Tenterden Church, which ended in the loss of life of one Henry de Smaleide. Two distinguished men of that day were involved in it, the great pluralist John Maunsell, Provost of Beverly, and Henry de Wingham (a man of acknowledged

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