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Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 57 - 1944 page 1

    By Rose Graham, C.B.E., D.Litt., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S

THE exceptional wealth of the benefice of Reculver was a disturbing factor in the history of the parish. The Archbishops of Canterbury had been in possession of the manor and the advowson of the church since the gift by King Edred in 949. The Saxon abbey had then ceased to exist, but the building continued in use as a parish church. In the late thirteenth century it was the mother church of four dependent chapels which had come into existence for the service of the inhabitants of the manor who numbered over a thousand. The chapels were at Hoath, St. Nicholas in Thanet, All Saints, no longer in existence, between St. Nicholas and Birchington, and Herne.
   On several occasions the Crown and the Papacy claimed the presentation to Reculver for their nominees. From 1295 until 1308 there were rival rectors, and violent seizures of tithes for four summers. In the space of twelve years three rectors were notable men, John de Langton, Edward I's chancellor, afterwards Bishop of Chichester (1305-1337), 

Simon of Faversham, who had served the University of Oxford as chancellor of the University, and Nicholas of Tingwick, Edward I's most trusted physician, a Balliol man and a benefactor of his University. Archbishop Winchelsey, the most outstanding Oxford scholar of his generation in church and state, made a fresh arrangement to promote the spiritual welfare of the parishioners on his manor of Reculver.
   The parishioners suffered a grievous wrong when in 1276 Archbishop Kilwardby (1273-1278), a Dominican Friar, appropriated the church of Reculver to two hospitals, the leper hospital of Harbledown and the hospital of Northgate, Canterbury.1 They were founded by Archbishop Lanfranc (1070-1089) who charged the revenues of the see of Canterbury with an annual payment of two hundred and forty marks (160) a year for their maintenance. Archbishop Kilwardby intended
   1 Calendar of Papal Letters, I, p. 511; Gervase of Canterbury, Historical Works, II, p. 284 (Rolls Series).

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