LIES the next parish south-eastward from Eleham.
It is written in the survey of Domesday, Acres, taking
its name from its high situation, and the plenty of oak
trees growing in it. It is vulgarly called by the common people in the neighbourhood, Awkeridge, by
which name I have sometimes seen it written, both in
wills and deeds. The north-east part of it, in which
part of the manor of Brandred lies, is in the hundred
of Folkestone, and the remainder of it within this hundred of Loningborough.
Acrise is an obscure parish, which, like all the
others on these hills, is, though poor, exceedingly
healthy. It is situated great part of it on high ground,
in a wild, dreary and flinty country, among those
hills which are here very frequent and steep. It is rather more than two miles long, and about one mile
broad. In the south-west part of it, encircled by a
large grove of trees, is Acrise-court, a respectable brick
mansion, seemingly of the age of Henry VII. and almost close to it, on the north side of the church, about
a mile from which stands the parsonage, and a small
hamlet of houses round Acrise-green. At some distance further is Hode, the house of which is built of
stone, with arched windows and doors of the gothic
form, belonging to Mr. Nicholas Marsh, of Eleham;
and at the northern boundary of the parish is the hamlet of Brandred, near which there is some coppice
wood. The large heath, called Swinfield minnis, extends along the eastern side of this parish, part of which
is within the bounds of it. The soil is mostly a red
earth, mixed with quantities of flints, the rest of it is
chalk, a barren unfertile soil.
There is a fair held here, on the Tuesday next after
Oct, 10, yearly.
Acrise, at the time of taking the general survey of
Domesday, was part of the possessions of the bishop of
Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is
thus entered in it:
In Nuniberg hundred, Anschitil de Ros holds of the
bishop, Acres, which two brothers held, and each had a
balimote; now it is for one manor, and it was taxed for
one suling. The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is one carucate and an half, and five villeins,
with five borderers having one carucate. Wood for the
pannage of ten hogs, aud a church. In the time of king
Edward the Confessor it was worth forty shillings, and
afterwards thirty shillings, now sixty shillings.
Four years after the taking of the above survey, the
bishop of Baieux was disgraced, and all his possessions
were confiscated to the crown; upon which the seignory of this manor seems to have been immediately
granted to the above-mentioned Anschitil de Ros, the
mesne tenant of it, who thenceforward became lord paramount, holding it immediately of the crown in capite.
Of his descendants this manor was again held by the
family of Cosenton, or Cossington as they were sometimes spelt, who resided both here and at Cosenton, in
This manor of Acrise, alias Okeridge, was granted
to them to hold of the barony of Ross, as of the manor of Horton Kirkby, which seems to have been the
chief manor of that barony, and in imitation of whose
arms, Or, three roses, gules, the Cosentons bore Azure,
three roses, or. Sir Stephen de Cosenton possessed it
in the 7th year of Edward III. and that year obtained
a charter of free-warrenfor his lands in Acrise, Cossyngtone, and Suthbertone. (fn. 1) At length, after it had
continued in his descendants till the reign of king
Henry VIII. Thomas Cosenton, esq. dying in the beginning of it without male issue, his three daughters
became his coheirs, and shared a large inheritance between them; upon the division of which, this manor
was allotted to the youngest, Elizabeth, married to
Alexander Hamon, esq. who bore for his arms, Azure,
three demi lions, passant-guardant, or. He afterwards
resided at Acrise-place, as did his grandson Alexander
Hamon, esq. who died possessed of this manor in 1613,
leaving two daughters his coheirs; Elizabeth married
to Sir Edward Boys, of Fredville, and Catherine to
Sir Robert Lewknor, to the latter of whom, by his
will, he devised this manor and estate. He afterwards
resided at Acrise-place, and bore for his arms, Argent,
three chevronels, gules. His descendants continued
possessed of it till Robert Lewknor his grandson, in
1666, alienated it, with other estates in this neighbourhood, to Thomas Papillon, esq. of Lubenham,
The family of Papillon, or Papillion, seems to have
been of good account in this kingdom in very early
times; for I find Toraldus de Papilion, one of the
witnesses to a deed of confirmation of William the
Conqueror, to the church of Durham. William Papilion was one of king Edward I.'s faithful servants,
and recommended by him to the abbot and convent
of Leicester, for a corodie from that house in the 31st
year of his reign. (fn. 2) And from him it is very probable
the Papillons, of Lubenham, in that county, derive
their descent and first settlement in it. Thomas Papillon, of Lubenham, the purchaser of this manor,
was an eminent merchant of London, for which he
served in parliament, as he had before done for Dover, and bore for his arms, Azure, a chevron, or, between three butterflies, or papillons, argent. He was of
the Mercers company, to which he gave 1000l. Philip Papillon, his son, served in parliament several times
for Dover, and once for New Romney. His first wife
was Anne, eldest daughter of William Jolliffe, esq.
of Staffordshire, by her he had a son David. He
married secondly Susan Henshaw, by whom he had a
son Philip, who was of East Malling, and three daughters. David Papillon, the eldest son, was chosen to
serve in parliament for New Romney, and for Dover
likewise. He was one of the commissioners of excise,
and resided both here and at Lee. He died in 1762,
leaving by Mary, daughter of Timothy Keyser, esq.
of London, a son David, and five daughters. David
Papillon, esq. the son, resided at times both here and
at Lee, and was one of the commissioners of excise.
By his first wife Bridget, daughter of William Turner,
of the White Friars, Canterbury, son of William, by
Anna-Maria Papillon, he had surviving seven children, Thomas, born in 1757, now lieutenant-colonel
in the East Kent battalion of militia, and by his father's gift the present possessor of this manor and seat;
Philip, rector of Eythorne, and vicar of Kennington;
William, in orders likewise, of Wymundham, in Norfolk, who married the daughter of the Rev. Richard
Drake, of that parish; John-Rawsterne, vicar of
Tunbridge, and George, Elizabeth and Sarah. He
married secondly Hester, daughter of the Rev. Dr.
Curteis, of Sevenoke, and prebendary of Canterbury;
by his second wife, who died s. p. in 1782. Thomas
Papillon, esq. the eldest son above-mentioned, the
present possessor of this manor, married Anne, daughter of Henry Pelham, esq. and now resides at Acriseplace.
Brandred is a manor, in the north-east part of this
parish, having a hamlet of its own name within it,
which, at the time of taking the general survey of
Domesday, seems to have been part of the possessions
of the canons of St. Martin's priory, in Dover, under
the description of which it is entered thus: The land
of Brandet pays twenty shillings and six-pence to St. Martin
in alms. And a little below, under the same title
of their possessions: Among the common land of St.
Martin there are, among others, one hundred acres of
land at Brand which acquit themselves, that is, are free
from payment of custom and scot.
This manor continued part of the possessions of the
church and priory of St. Martin above-mentioned,
till its dissolution in the 27th year of the reign of
king Henry VIII. when it was suppressed, as not having revenues to the amount of the clear yearly value
of two hundred pounds, those of this priory not
amounting to more than 170l. 14s. 11½d. clear yearly
income, and was surrendered that year, with all its
lands and possessions, to the king's use. But they did
not remain long in the hands of the crown, for the
king, in his 29th year, granted the scite of the priory.
with all lands and possessions belonging to it, except
the patronage of certain churches mentioned in it, in
exchange to archbishop Cranmer, (fn. 3) in whose successor,
they have continued to the present time, his grace the
archbishop being now entitled to the inheritance of it.
In the hamlet of Brandred, is an estate, the house
of which, though now only a farm-house, was, as early
as queen Elizabeth's reign, the property and residence
of the Marsh's, descended from those of Marton, in
East Langdon, and it continued so down to T.Marsh,
of Brandred, who died in 1664, leaving by Anne,
daughter of Thomas Nethersole, of Nethersole, in
Wimlingswold, a son, John Marsh, who in 1665, removed thither, in whose descendants it has continued
down to John Marsh, esq. of Salisbury, afterwards of
Nethersole, who is the present possessor of this estate,
but now resides at Chichester, in Sussex.
A person unknown gave land in this parish, for the benefit
of the poor, now of the annual value of 1l. occupied at present
by John Sharp.
The poor constantly relieved are about eleven, casually nine.
Acrise is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of
The church, which is dedicated to St. Martin, is
but small, consisting of only one isle and one chancel,
having a tower at the west end, with a low turret on
it, flat at top, in which there is one bell. The church
is kept very neat. In the chancel, on a stone, is a
memorial and figure of a woman in brass, for Mary,
wife of Peter Heyman, esq. daughter and coheir of
William Tirrill, esq. of Essex, obt. 1601. On a stone,
a memorial in brass, for Alexander Hamon, esq. obt.
1613. A monument for William Turner, esq. late of
Grays-Inn, obt. 1729; married Anna-Maria, daughter of Thomas Papillon, esq. obt. 1738; arms, Turner, argent and ermine, three fer de molins, sable, a pale
counterchanged in fess, on a chief, or, a lion rampant-guardant, between two roses, gules, impaling Papillon; and
a monument for Anne, late wife of Mr. Philip Papillon, of London, merchant, eldest daughter of William Jolliffe, esq. obt. 1693. There are many hatchments of the Papillon family round the isle; between
which and the chancel there is a large pointed arch,
with zig-zag ornaments.
This church was given, about the reign of king
Henry II. by William de Cosenton, lord of the manor
of Acrise, to the priory of Leeds, to which the patronage of it afterwards belonged; but it never was
appropriated, and archbishop Baldwin, who lived
in that reign, granted out of it to the priory an annual
pension of forty shillings. In which state the patronage of it continued till the dissolution of the priory,
or abbey of Leeds as it was then called, in the 31st
year of Henry VIII. when it came, with the rest of the
possessions of it, into the hands of the crown, in which
it has continued ever since, the king being the present
patron of it.
The above-mentioned pension of forty shillings has
not been paid since the dissolution of the priory.
This rectory is valued in the king's books at seven
pounds, and the yearly tenths at fourteen shillings. In
1588 it was valued at eighty pounds, communicants
sixty-eight. In 1640 the like number of communicants, and it was valued at one hundred pounds.
Church of Acrise.
|Or by whom presented.|
|The Crown.||John Bankes,1620.|
|Humphry Peake, D.D. June 12,
1627. (fn. 4) |
|Thomas Gage, 1642.|
|John Floate, obt. 1699.|
|John Lewis, Oct. 6, 1699, resigned 1706. (fn. 5) |
|Thomas Rymer, D.D. 1706, ob.
March 23, 1761. (fn. 6) |
|John Hardy Franklyn, A. M.
April 11, 1761, obt. June
|William Swanne, inducted
|Giles Powell, in 1786, the present rector.|