COMMONLY called Adsham, lies the next parish
south-eastward from Ickham, being written in Domesday, Edesham. There is but one borough in this parish, viz. of Adisham. At the time of the conquest it
was reputed to have a hundred within itself, and to be
within the lath of Æstraie.
THIS PARISH lies exceedingly pleasant and healthy,
in a dry and fine open champaign country, the greatest
part of it lies high, being uninclosed downs, and open
common fields, with some few trees and hedges in particular places intervening. It is about two miles in
extent each way; the soil of it is much addicted to
chalk, notwithstanding which the lands are very sertile,
and produce exceeding good crops of corn. The village, consisting of about ten houses, is situated, not
very pleasantly, in a bottom, having a large and dangerous pond, through which the road leads, in the middle of it; near it, on a hill, stand the church and courtlodge. There are two hamlets near it, called Danestreet and Bludden; at some distance are the estates of
Ovenden and Bossington, and the manor of Cooting,
all of them belonging to Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. of
Brome, the latter having been in his family for some
generations. The parsonage, a neat modern built
house, stands near the boundary of the parish, next to
that of Wingham, and a field or two distance only from
the seat of Dean. A fair is held in the village on
May 11, yearly, for toys and pedlary.
From hence over the Isle of Thanet northward to
Sandwich, Deal, and Dover, on the sea shore eastward,
and the extremity of Barham downs southward, this
part of the country, which has the name in particular
of East Kent, is remarkable beautiful and pleasant,
being for the most part an open champaign country,
interspersed at places with small inclosures and coppices of wood, with towns, frequent villages and their
churches, and many seats, with their parks and plantations, throughout it. The face of the whole of it
is lively, and has a peculiar grace and gaiety. It is an
uneven surface, of frequent hill and dale; but the
valleys, though noble and wild, are gentle. The prospects are on every side pleasing and delightful over
this country, bounded by the surrounding sea, covered with the shipping of our own and of every other
nation, and at the farthest ken of the eye, by the
white cliffs of France.
The manor of Adisham was given in the year
616, by Eadbald, king of Kent, son of king Ethelbert, to the monks of Christ-church, in Canterbury,
ad cibum, that is, to the use of their refectory, free
from all secular services and fiscal tribute, excepting
the three customs of repelling invasions, and the repair of bridges and castles, being the common burthen
from which no one was exempt. Therefore it was
usually called the trinoda necessitas, and this exception
was commonly made in all the Saxon grants of church
lands after the words which freed them from all secular service or exaction; and in the grants made to the
church of Canterbury, instead of enumerating the
many privileges and liberties granted in them, it was
usual to insert the letters l. s. a. that is, Libere sicut
Adisham, free in like manner as Adisham was granted
to that church. (fn. 1) Leland says, in the third volume
of his Collectanea, that the above exception of the
trinoda necessitas, was peculiar to this county; but
Selden and others prove it was customary elsewhere.
After the conquest, on the division made by archbishop Lanfranc, of his church's revenues between
himself and the priory, this manor was allotted to the
share of the latter; accordingly it is entered in the
survey of Domesday, taken anno 1080, under the general title of its possessions, as follows:
The archbishop himself holds Edesham. It was taxed
at seventeen sulings. The arable land is . . . In demesne
there are two carucates and an half, and one hundred villeins, with fourteen borderers having thirty-six carucates.
There are thirteen acres of pasture, and three servants.
Wood sufficient for fencing. Of this land two knights
hold of the archbishop three sulings, and there they have
in demesne four carucates, and eighteen villeins, with five
borderers having one carucate. The whole manor, in the
time of king Edward the Consessor, was worth forty
pounds, when be received it the like. It now pays fortysix pounds and sixteen sbillings and four-pence, and to the
archbishop one hundred shillings by way of fine. What the
knights bold is worth eleven pounds, and yet it pays thirteen pounds.
In the 10th year of king Edward II. the prior of
Christ-church obtained a grant of free-warren in all
his demesne lands in this manor, among others.
About which time it was, with its appurtenances, valued at fifty-five pounds. (fn. 2) In which state it continued till the dissolution of the priory, in the 31st year
of king Henry VIII. when it came into the king's
hands, where it did not remain long, for the settled it,
among other premises, in his 33d year, on his newerected dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose
inheritance it still continues.
A court leet and court baron is held for this manor.
At the court leet of this manor, one constable is chosen for the upper half hundred of Downhamford, containing the parishes of Ickham, Adisham, and Staple.
The manerial rights, profits of courts, royalties,
&c. the dean and chapter retain in their own hands.
But the court-lodge and demesne lands, containing
about seven hundred acres, are demised by them on a
beneficial lease. Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. of Brome,
is the present lessee of them.
There are no parochial charities. The poor constantly maintained are about seventeen, casually
Adisham is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of
The church, which is exempt from the jurisdiction
of the archdeacon, is dedicated to the Holy Innocents. It is built in the form of a cross, having a
tower steeple embattled in the centre, in which hang
four bells. It consists of an isle, a transept, and high
chancel. The isle and south sept is but indifferently
built, but the rest is much superior in stile of workmanship, with narrow lancet windows. In the south
sept or cross, there are several antient cossin-shaped
stones, one of which has a cross slory, and old French
capitals, obliterated. In the high chancel is a large
stone, with an elegant cross story on it, once inlaid with
brass, and round the rim of the stone large French capitals, which, as well as the figures and inscriptions
on several gravestones, are obliterated; there are large
remains of small coloured tiles on the pavement, red
and yellow. In this chancel several of the rectors, and
many of the family of Austen, who resided at the
court-lodge, and were possessed of lands in this parish,
lie buried. In the south wall of the isle below the
transept, is an arch in the wall, and a nich for holy
water close to it, seemingly by that to have had an
altar there. The font is antient. Just below the
north sept is a kind of chapel, shut out from the
church, in which there lies a heap of broken stone
carve-work, but it is unknown what it belonged to.
The isle and high chancel of this church are leaded.
Sir George Oxenden, bart. who died in the East-In
dies, and was buried at Surat, gave by will three hundred pounds to the repair of the church.
The church of Adisham, with the chapel of Staple
annexed, was antiently appendant to the manor of
Adisham, and continued so till after the dissolution of
the priory of Christ-chruch, in the 31st year of king
Henry VIII. who in his 33d year, settled the manor
on his new-founded dean and chapter of Canterbury;
but the advowson of the church he retained in his own
hands, and afterwards granted it in exchange to the
archbishop of Canterbury and his successors, part of
whose possessions it has continued to this time.
The rector is collated and inducted into the church
of Adisham, with the chapel of Staple annexed.
This rectory, with the chapel of Staple, is valued
in the king's books at 281. 3s. 1½d. and the yearly
tenths at 2l. 16s. 3¾d. In 1588 here were one hundred and sixteen communicants, and it was valued at
1601. In 1640 the same. It is now of the yearly
value of 5001.
Church Of Adisham, with the Chapel Of Staple.
|Or by whom presented.|
|The Archbishop.||Peter dn Moulin, S. T. P. inducted Nov. 1662, obt. Oct.
1684. (fn. 3) |
|John Battely, S. T. P. Oct.10,
1708. (fn. 4) |
|John Greene, S. T. P. Nov.
1708, resigned Feb. 1717. (fn. 5)
1708, resigned Feb. 1717. (fn. 6) |
|Balthazar Regis, S.T.P. March|
|Francish Walwyn, S. T. P. Jan.
1757, obt. May 19, 1770. (fn. 7) |
|Hon. James Cornwallis, May,
1770, resigned Oct. 1770. (fn. 8) |
|John Lynch. LL. D. April 2,
1771, resigned 1781. (fn. 9) |
|John Palmer, A. B. inducted
April 29, 1781, the present