whom this chapel was built. Kilburne says it is
supposed to have been founded by one Shepherde. It was possibly erected
for the accommodation of the inhabitants there, who had to keep it in
repair. We are told that the upper part of the road leading from
Tenterden to Smallhythe was known as Broad-Tenterden, and at one time
formed the most populous part of it. This chapel was dedicated to St.
John the Baptist, and licensed by a faculty from Archbishop Warham (May
5, 1509), on the petition of the inhabitants, on account of the distance
from the parish church, the badness of the roads, and periodical floods.
In this faculty (on the eve of the Reformation) there is a grant of
forty days' indulgence to all who should contribute towards the support
of the chapel and chaplain. The right to present to it was at first
vested in the Vicar of Tenterden, but it is now enjoyed by the
householders of Dumborne. The chaplain (now incumbent) is maintained by
the rent arising from a small farm, and in bygone times a room was
erected over the farmhouse for his residence. There appears to have been
a haven at one time at Smallhythe, for we find a
precept from Edward III to the bailiff complaining
that the masters and mariners of ships coming there cast the lastage of
their vessels into the port, whereby the passage had become so narrow
that ships could not enter. The sea came up here as late as the reign of
Henry VIII; as a faculty was granted, in 1509, to bury in the ancient
chapel yard at Smallhythe the bodies of those who were cast by shipwreck
on the sea-shore.
Amongst the few records possessed by the Corporation, is a
minute books, in which passing events appear to have been entered in
chronological order. Here we find this entry: "6 Henry VIII [A.D.
1514-15], the which year Smalithe was burnt on the last day of
July." Did the fire include the chapel, which had only been erected
six years? About thirty-five years after the fire, and in the reign of
Edward VI, interrogatories were issued (which may be seen amongst the
papers of the Court of Augmentation) to ascertain whether this was a
chapel of ease or not, its distance from Tenterden, and other