Archaeologia Cantiana -
Vol. 63 1950 pages 135
BOURGCHIERíS purchase of the manor of Knole from Sir William Fenys,
lord Say and Seale, in 1456, is a matter of common Kentish knowledge. Since
Kilburne in 1659 declared that Bourgchier built there "a fair
house," little more has been discovered about what really happened at
Knole in the few years after this sale. Hasted amplified Kilburne to the
extent of saying that Bourgchier "rebuilt the manor-house and
inclosed a park round it, and resided much at it,"2 and
nearly every tract about Knole since written has incorporated these words
before hurrying on to more legible times. A notable exception was the Rev.
W. J. Loftie, who in 1871 considered Bourgchierís probable work at Knole
from the architectural viewpoint.3 After studying the
archaeological evidence, he was able to suggest, in a paper read to the
Society, that "Bourgchier or his successors razed the mansion of the
Says to the ground before they commenced their own erection," and to
point out a number of features of the present building for which Archbishop
Bourgchier must have been responsible.
bailiwick which are now in the Public Record Office, and it seems worth
while to extract those portions which bear upon the rebuilding of Knole, and
to print them below.
During the fifteenth century, the estates belonging to the See of Canterbury were divided into bailiwicks for the convenience of administration. In this scheme, Knole came under the balliva of Otford, whose bailiff, receiver and serjeant during Bourgchierís early years at Canterbury was one John Grymesdyche. Each year the various reeves, farmers, parkers and woodwards within the bailiwick made up their accounts, and these several accounts for the year were stitched together at the top, Exchequer fashion, and rolled up into one neat roll consisting of several membranes. Most of these membranes, therefore, contain the accounts of individual places within the bailiwick, but a consolidated statement for the whole bailiwick was made up by Grymesdyche in the shape of an annual "receiverís account,"
1 Kilburne, Survey of Kent (1659), p. 244.
2 History of Kent (1797 ed.), Vol. III, p. 62.
3 Arch. Cant, IX (1874), pp. xl-xliii,
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