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
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