King was resolved that the laws should be respected,
regardless of the rank of the offender, and he compelled Gaveston to
quit England, and prohibited the young Prince from approaching the Court
for some months; so he spent a portion of his time in Kent, keeping at a
respectful distance from his royal father, who had then (1305) a country
seat at Newenden, and was fishing and shooting in Kent. The Prince
remained for some days at Tenterden, and there wrote five or six letters
to his family and friends, which have been preserved. In them he shews
great anxiety to obtain the King's forgiveness. One's curiosity is
aroused respecting the spot where he dwelt.
Tradition says that Pitlesden (standing on the northern
side of the present High Street) once belonged to the renowned Earl
Godwin, who resided there (?); and that there the Prince took up his
abode. My informant was my late respected friend, Mr. Joseph Munn, to
whom it had been handed down.
The necessities of the sovereign were now supplied by Aids, being
assessments upon those who held of him or
some inferior lord, by knight, or military service.
Edward II caused a return to be made of the hundreds, and the villes or
towns in them, for the purpose of a military levy. This return is called
"Nomina Villarum." In it, the King's name appears as lord of
the hundred of Tenterden, and the archbishop, the prior of Christ
Church, Canterbury, and Sir John de Segrave, and Sir Richard de Rokesle
as lords of the ville or town. The last-named persons were at this time
two of the leading gentry of Kent.
I propose next to notice some of the principal estates in
Tenterden and their earliest proprietors.
Heronden (which belonged to an old family of that name,
passed into the family of Curteis, and is now held by Mrs. Croughton)
may, I think, be classed, with Pitlesden, amongst the first of the denes
which possessed family residences. More interest, however, attaches to
Pitlesden already referred to, from the fact that Sir John Dudley,
afterwards Duke of Northumberland (who was attainted and beheaded in the
reign of Queen Mary), inherited it (with Kenchill) in