The Textus Roffensis is a book compiled about 1115. One of the documents within it, is a list of churches and how much they paid when they received chrism oil from the cathedral. Chrism oil is consecrated oil used especially in baptism. Because the other documnents in the volume are clearly copied, it has been suggested that this is a copy of an earlier, probably Anglo-Saxon list. Certainly many of the spellings of the place names are how the Anglo-Saxons would have spelt them - in particular Ash (the Anglo-Saxons pronounced "sc" as "sh") but in the Domesday book it is spelt Aisse.
All our local churches are there, with the surprising exception of Longfield, especially when at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, a priest was living there! Of the 5 parishes, only Fawkham is listed as having a church in the Domesday Book.
"Concerning the numbers of churches of Rochester diocese, and the rents that they singly pay when they receive the holy chrism oil from the mother church of the diocese....
Readlega (renders) 9d
æisce (renders) 9d
Herclei (renders) 9d
Falkenham (renders) 9d"
2. Bishops Registers
2.1 1437-1445 (CKS/DRb/Pa1)
Richard George v Alice Apps - perjury
John Barrus, deacon of Hartley - saying mass in presence of Alice Apps who was suspended from the church
Robert Morre v John Apps - perjury
Richard Kay, rector of Hartley v John Godfey - unknown but settled between parties.
f41 - Mallyng, 16 December 1437
Hertley - Alice Aps of Hertley is accused by Philip(?) at the instance of Richard Geerthe.
f44 - Dartford 13 January 1438
Hertley - In a case of perjury moved by Richard Georth, plaintiff, of the first part. And Alice Aps, defendant, of the other part, who was suspended for contempt. It was decreed that execution be made as before because it did not agree with the execution of the mandate of suspension also brought against the same.
f54 - Mallyng 3 March 1438
Hertle - In a case of perjury or testamentary, which is pending between Richard George of the one part. And Alice Aps, defendant, of the other part, suspended for contempt. And a letter came for execution to be made against her. Concerning which Richard George informed the office (......................................?) that on the Sunday next after the feast of St. Valentine at Hertley, he handed over and delivered by hand to John Barrus, deacon (?), ministering in the said church, one writ under the seal of the Dean of Rochester addressed to the curate of the said church, to suspend the said Alice Aps from entering the church, suspended by the said official of Rochester due to contumacy. Present at the delivery of the writ - Thomas Jamys, John Beke of Assch, and Walter Strange. And he further says that the same John Barrus has received the same Alice so suspended, in the same church at her purification from the same incontinacy, and has celebrated mass in her presence on the same day and other days following. Present on the said day - John Parys and Robert Swone. At this consistory court, the same Alice appeared and John Barrus with her, Beseeching that she be absolved from the sentence of excommunication, because she is (..................................... ?) by alleging her poverty and the woman is absolved?
f69 - Dartford 9 June 1438
John Aps is accused by Philip Pars at the instance of Robert Morre in a case of perjury. The said Robert appointed John Snarry as proctor in all and singular necessary clauses under common form. The said proctor accused against the defendant, not appearing, whereby the lord official (.................... ?) and in no manner appearing (......................... ?) contumacy, suspended him from entry to the church.
f73 - Rochester Cathedral 30 June 1438
In a case of perjury moved by Robert More against John Aps, who was previously suspended for contempt, and the plaintiff appeared through John Snarry his proctor, the defendant in no manner appeared. A day is given to seek progress (?) (......... ..................... ?)
f84 - Mallyng 17 November 1438
Hertlegh - John Aps appointed Master Henry as his proctor at and with all necessary clauses under the common form.
f119 - Dartford 5 October 1439
Hertley - Memorandum that Richard Kay, rector of Hertley, appointed Henry Wilkins (?) as his proxy during the acts of the court in all clauses (........... ?) etc with all necessary clauses under the common form.
fl26 - Dartford 14 December 1439
Hertley - John Godfrey is accused at the instance of Sir John Kay, rector of Hertley in a case of .........
f128 - Rochester Cathedral 11 January 1440
Hertley - in the case promoted by Sir John Kay, rector of Hertle, plaintiff, of the one part. And John Godfrey, defendant, of the other part. The parties appeared and by the agreement of the parties the judge adjourned the case in the state in which it stands until the next (court).
f130 - Mallyng - 25 January 1440
Hertley - In the case moved by Sir John Kay against John Godfray. Peace is as etc, master H(enry) W(ilkins).
2.2 1444-1456 (Ref: CKS/DRb/Pa2)
Thomas Peny of Fawkham - probate
John Kay, rector of Hartley - suspended for contempt
John Paris, John Cotyer, John Godfrey, John Chatham, Robert Swan - probate
f28 - 17 May 1445
Will of Thomas Peny of Fawkham proved at Hartley church.
f70 - Rochester Cathedral 24 April 1447
Hertle - Sir John rector of Hertle is accused on the contempt of not appearing before the commissioners at Swanscomp on 30 March, according to the citation made to him (.......... ?) by John Worth; and as he in no manner appeared, he was suspended for contempt, afterwards as it was relaxed (?... )
f160 - Dertford 28 June 1451
Hertle - the will of John Paris is proved, whose executor is Thomas Cotyer, sworn etc.
f187 - Names of curates absent from the procession to the Cathedral Church in Pentecost week 1452
Rector of Hertle - paid
Rector of Faukham - paid ½d by the rector of Longfeld.
f196 - Rochester Cathedral 28 November 1452
Hertle - Citation (?) to executors of John Cotyer, John Godfrey, and John Chatham to prove etc. Likewise to the executor of John Paris by indenture.
f197 - Mallyng 18 December 1452
Hertle - the will of John Chatham was proved, whose executors are Roger Smyth and Alice his mother.
Hertle - the will of John Cotyer was proved, whose executors are Christine his wife, sworn, and John Hancock, the other executor named who was released (?) of the same (?)
f198 - Dertford 8 January 1452
Hertle - John Wynald and John Boxwode appeared in court. And did not produce the will of Robert Swane, and they say that he did not have a written will, however that he composed a nuncupative (oral) will, viz that the same John Wynald and John Boxwode should have all his goods and pay his debts and the remainder he left to his mother. And John Donet examined there testified the same wherefore the commission entrusted the administration to the same John and John sworn in the form of the oath and admitted under the protest of "le inventar". And the rector of Hertle confessed that he had a will previously made, which the official ordered to be produced
f294 - Dertford 12 July 1456
Hertle - the rector of Hertle has a day for the same (to reside under a penalty) until the next court, on that day he has a day to appear (?) by the next court and for contempt (?) within a month.
2.3 1456-1468 (Ref: CKS/DRb/Pa3)
John Troylard, Margery Church - probate
f358 Rochester Cathedral 30 October 1458
Hertley - the will of John Troylard is proved with the codicil attached, whose executors are Joan his wife, sworn etc, with probate reserved by Richard Overy. And the rector certified that Richard Overey (..................................................... ?)
f418 Mallyng 1 December 1460
Hertle - the will of Margery Cherch is exhibited by the rector(...................... ?) and was proved.
2.4 1472-1500 (Ref: CKS/DRb/Pa4)
Thomas Cotyer, John Cook, Henry Godfrey, Walter Godfrey, William Overy, John Bond - probate
Bishop's visitation 1496
f25 - Dartford 28 March 1474
Hertley - the will of Thomas Cotyer of Hertley is proved, whose executor is William Hooke, sworn, has made a fine of 2s.
f65 - Dartford, the Monday after Trinity (1474)
Hertlegh - the will of John Cooke of Hertlegh, deceased, is proved. And the administration of the goods of the said deceased is entrusted to Agnes, his wife, and Henry Mabbe, the executors named in the said will, sworn in the form of the oath and admitted. With power reserved of charging James Hayward, the other executor named in the said will if all of the same do not want to undertake this etc.
f112 - Mallyng 7 June 1490
Hertle - Henry Godfrey, executor of Henry Godfrey, his father, deceased, is summoned.
f113 - On St Luke's Day (18 October 1490)
Hertle (20d) - the will of Walter Godfrey deceased is proved. Henry his son, his executor,is sworn as in the form. Fine 20d.
f137 - Rochester Cathedral 27 August 1493
Hertle - the will of William Overy is proved; his executor, John Ge(..?) of Southflete was sworn etc.
f142 - Dartford, the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary 1493
Hertle (13s 4d) - the will of Sir John Boonde deceased is proved etc, his executors Clement Boonde and John Boonde are sworn as in the form, fine 13s 4d, whereof they have paid 6s 8d and they have until the next (sitting) at Dertforde to pay the remainder.
f325 - Bishop's Visitation; 10th hour of Tuesday 7th June at Cobham Church, 1496 (for western parishes of Rochester deanery)
Sir Henry Mownaygh - rector, appeared and paid 2s and owes 2s to be paid on the Monday after the feast of St John the Baptist at Rochester
John Shaw, John Scoris (?) - Churchwardens
Laurence Sybbyng, Robert Fi(ller?) - parishioners, account (............ ?)
2.5 1499-1513 (Kent Record Office DRb/Pa5)
John Fuller - probate
John Parker - absenteeism from Church, adultery
Rector of Hartley - order to serve his church
f21 - Mallyng 26 May 1500
Hertley - the will of John Fuller, deceased, is proved. His executor Joan, wife of the said deceased, is sworn. Fine 12d, to be paid at Pentecost; she appeared (?) through the rector and paid.
f57 - (1490?)
Hartley - John Parker is censured because he has not received eucharist this year in his own church.
The same John is censured for the crime of adultery with Thomasin, formerly (...... ?) with the said John.
f8 - Swanscombe, 3 December 1511
Harteley - on the same day the lord ordered (?) the rector of Harteley to serve his cure there under the penalty of the law.
2.6 1513-1518 (Ref: CKS/DRb/Pa6)
Mrs Reynolde - report of neighbours (withdrawn)
Thomas Man of Ash, and Mrs Payes of Hartley - adultery
William Bele, William Tudman - probate
John Robinson, rector of Fawkham - miscellaneous charges
John Bele, rector of Hartley - sodomy, non residence
Simon Thompson , curate of Hartley - evidence of appointment, not saying Sunday service
f26 - Discoveries of the Rochester Deanery (after visitation of 1514), Rochester Cathedral
Hartly (withdrawn) - the wife of Roger Reynolde is censured by the report of her neighbours, not (withdrawn?)
f34 - Deanery Chapter, Gravesend, 20 June 1514
Assh - Thomas Manus (Man,) is censured for adultery with the wife of John Payes of Hartley.
Hartley - wife Payes is censured for adultery as above.
f39 - Rochester Cathedral, 11 July 1514
Assh - Thomas Manus for adultery with the wife of John Pays of Hartley, on which day he did not appear.
Hartley - wife Payes for adultery with Thomas Manus, did not appear.
f41 - Grenwich, 13 July 1514
Assh - Thomas Manus is censured for adultery with the wife Payes, on which day he appeared (...... ?) and has to purge, himself with six oath helpers at Gravisend.
f48 - Gravesend, 1 August 1514
Asshe - Thomas Manus has to purge (the charge of) adultery with the wife Payes of Hartley, he and six oath helpers.
f62 - Gravesend, 10 October 1514
Hartly - administration is entrusted (?) to Mariota Bele, widow, to administer the goods of William Bele, sworn in the form; and she has to the next (sitting) to exhibit the inventory (?).
ff105-109 - this is a long case concerning the conduct of John Robynson, rector of Fawkham, which results in an order that he be dismissed as rector. There are a long series of questions to be administered to those making depositions, some of which concern parishioners of Hartley, reproduced below (1515):-
(Two questions relate to Hartley)
Item: that you committed private usury (?) with Richard Sprencer formerly of Harteley of our diocese, certain wrongful actions prohibited by law and ( ?) the holy canons wherefor published for the common good and you committed that ( .................. ?) (he denies this)
Item: that John Bele, formerly of Harteley, received from you and died a sudden death from your medicine. (he denies this)
(Thomas Manus deposes) ".... he also says that the rector is a doctor and administers medicine for money, and says that he recently administered some medicine to the kinsman of the rector of Harteley, who died shortly afterwards, but he does not know for what reasons
(John Veysey deposes) ".... he also says that the rector administered medicine to the kinsman, that was, of the rector of Harteley, who afterwards died, but he does not know whether (it was) on the same occasion."
(John Manus of Rydley mentions a box of deeds he was to take to the rector of Fawkham or William Smyth of Hartly.)
f109 - Fawkham, 4 July 1515
Asshe - Thomas Manus is censured ( ?) in a crime of adultery with Pane, who denies. Whom was ordered (?) to purge (the charge), himself with eight oath helpers in Snodland in the next court. And he is ordered (?) (............. ?) that he does not talk to the same Alice Pane under pain of (......................?) crime of adultery with
f170 - Rochester Palace, before the reverend father, 2 July 1516
Harteley - Sir John Bele, rector there, appeared personally, censured and publically defamed of the crime of sodomy with one George Liste, servant. Accused by William Stafford of Sutton, esquire, then present there, whom having touched the holy relics of God's evangelists, the same Reverend Father ordered to speak the whole and full truth in the premises. And the same (William), examined in the premises, said that the same rector often and on diverse occasions committed the crime of sodomy in the bed in the chamber. For which the same man on oath warned and threatened him to desist, and because he did not want to desist, the sworn man (William) said that he wished to publically accuse him of the same crime. And after some time he related the premises to wife Raynolde. Whom she told that the same rector had been defamed for the same crime with a boy from Harteley and with another boy then from Sevenok. This heard, the same Reverend Father from certain cause (..................?) warned the respondent ( ?) feast of St Peter Chains next, and ( ?) on which term he did not appear to hear the lord's wish; and the father wished besides that ( ?) law demands.
f200 - Rochester Cathedral, 5 November 1516
Hartley - the rector is censured to reside.
f202 - Rochester Cathedral, 9th day after St Katharine 1516
Faukeham, Hartely - Sir Symon Thompson has to show his letters of ordination and has to inform how he holds the church to farm, on which day he did not appear, therefore he (is banned from?) celebration of divine service.
f209 - Rochester Cathedral, 16 December 1516
Hartley - Sir Simon Thompson, at another time (banned?) for contempt from celebrating divine service has to produce his letters of ordination etc, and how he holds the church there to farm. On which day he appeared and alleged (..................... ?) whereby he was absoved etc, and he exhibited his letters of ordination and has a day to produce his indenture at the next (sitting).
Hartly - let the rector be cited by ways and means and let Sir Simon Thompson, curate there, be charged to observe(?). By virtue of which he is ordered to cite the same (........... ?) to appear in the next court.
f212 - Rochester Cathedral, 9 January 1517
Hartly - Sir Simon Thompson has (a day) to exhibit the indenture of the rector there by the next (sitting); and he has (a day) to certify of citation being made by him to Sir John Bele rector to reside and appear on that day. On which day by not appearing (.... ?) for his contempt. Afterwards he appeared and showed his indenture and what he had done as regards the citation. He said that he sent the schedule to his master (?) that he should appear as above, then he replied that he was unwell.
f214 - Rochester Cathedral, 27 January 1517
Hartley - process of deprivation against the rector there was begun.
f224 - Rochester Cathedral, Wednesday on the vigil of St Gregory (11 March) 1517
Harteley - process is issued at Hartely church to summon Sir John Bele, rector there, to appear to prove to the court why out of certain justice (?) of the petition, he ought not to be deprived of his benefice; on which day was received a certificate by the said Robert Horsenson, rector of Kyngisdoun, which he gave to the said (.................. ?) in the church of Hartly on the altar; and also by the testimony of Ralph Forster (............... ?); whom not appearing the lord commissary within written, deprived him of his benefice.
f229 - Rochester Cathedral, 28 April 1517
Hartely - Sir Simon Thompson does not serve his cure, as is required on Sundays, and owes for suspension (?) at the visitation.
f234 - 16 June 1517
Hartly - the church is not served on Sundays due to the default of Sir Simon, the curate there, not cited.
Process is issued for Sir John Bele, rector of Hartly to appear at the next (sitting).
f246 - Rochester Cathedral, 30 July 1517
Hartley - the church is not served on Sundays, due to the default of Sir Simon as censured, on which day he appeared and confessed that on one Sunday he was hindered so that he could not say mass there ( ............................. ?)
Sir John Bele, rector of Hartly has this day to explain to the court his absence (..................................?) and that they should not give sequestration. On which day
(............................................................ ?) and the father afterwards relaxed it.
f275 - Case of Thompson v Horsenson and Walworth, labelled Hartley but is about dilapidations (payment for) of Fawkham church. (see also f 277)
f292 - Rochester Cathedral, 22 July 1518
Hartly - Sir William Tudmon has died intestate, wherefore administration is entrusted to Sir Richard Watson, chaplain and to exhibit the inventory by the next (court); and Sir Simon Thompson, not appearing, the lord
f294 - Harteley, the last day of July in the chapel of Gravisend (1518)
The lord commissary had Simon Thompson to be proclaimed, according to previous acts, to prove to the court why he ought not to be excommunicated. On which day he did not appear. Therefore he ordered that he be excommunicated at the petition of (.................. ?) and Sir Richard Watts senior (?), administrators of the goods of Sir William Tudman, deceased.
2.7 1518-1523 (Ref: CKS/DRb/Pa7)
Simon Thompson - continuation of previous case
Laurence Sibbyng - debt owed to Hartley Church
f11 - Gravesend, 22 March 1519
Hartley - Sir Simon Thompson has (a day) to purge his incontinacy with several, he and 7 oath helpers ordained (?); and he has (..... ?) to do as in past proceedings; on which day he did not appear. Therefore (....................................... ?) and he has to appear on 7 April at Dertford.
f13 - Dertford, 7 April 1519
Hartely - Sir Simon Thompson, elsewhere sequestered (?) for contempt, has (to purge) his incontinacy; he with 7 oath helpers, who are ordained; and (................... ?) for his contumacy. And on which day he did not appear, and therefore written execution (?) is sent out.
f20 - Dertforde, 8 June 1519
Harteley - Sir Simon Thomson, elsewhere according to past proceedings, excommunicated for his contumacy, sought his benefice humbly in absolution. Whom the same lord official discharged (?) him from the first fruits, by him sworn to submit to the law and to obey the orders of the church; (and) absoved the payment of the first fruits by him at the expense of the churchwardens of Harteley, assessed by the said lord official; whom, this done, the said Simon produced sureties to deliver to the same churchwardens, one cow formerly assigned in the will of one Sir John Robynson, by the feast of Christmas next, who promised the interposition of his faith (................?) (?); then the said Sir Simon promised to pay 5s 10d at the time of (?) on Monday in (.................... ?) for court expenses recently spend by him in his vexatious (?)suit (.........?). And for his contumacy he assigned to the same Sir Simon (.......?) at the feast (?) of the blessed King Henry (VI?) by the feast of St Peter Chains; and after this feast of All Saints there occurs at the feast (?) of the blessed St Thomas of Canterbury; from which he will certify to the lord official by the feast of Christmas, wherever he will be, under penalty of the law.
f67 - Discoveries in the visit of the reverend father, the Friday after the feast of St Mark 1520
Hartely - Sir John Cartar, curate, by his letters of ordination.
f205 - Rochester Cathedral, 28 March 1522
Hartley - Sir John Bele has not appeared on the visitation.
f217 - Rochester Cathedral, the day after St John's, 13 May 1523 (this seems to be lists of debtors)
Hartley - Laurence Sibbyng owes the church 6s 8d on the foot of the account of the said church, not cited; and the churchwardens (................... ?).
f222 - Rochester Cathedral, 25 June 1523
Hartley - Laurence Sibbyng owes the church 6s 8d on the account of his (cite churchwardens (.................... ?)).
f232 - Rochester Cathedral, 16 July 1523
Hartely - Laurence Sibbyng owes the church 6s 8d on the foot of the account, not cited. (see also f249, 24 September 1523)
2.8 1523-1526 (Ref: CKS/DRb/Pa8)
John Bele - dilapidation of rectory
f10 - (appears to be part of visitation records, 1524)
Hartely - Sir John Beele, rector, did not appear
Sir John Carter, curate
H Clarke, John Nortlish, churchwardens
William Smyth, T Clement, Parishioners who say all is (well).
f17 - (........... ) 1524
Hartley - (mentions John Beele, John Carter, but rest of text is lost.)
f26 - 12 December 1524
Hartley - Sir John Bele rector there is prosecuted for the contumacy of not appearing at the visitation of the vicar in general, and for that the buildings of the rectory require great repairs; on which day Sir John Carter, curate, appeared and certified that (............................ ) did not appear (......... ?) and promised to appear in future.
f36 - 20 January 1525 (hard to read, but appears to be the same as f26)
f42 - 10 March 1525
Hartly - Sir John Bele is excommunicated for contumacy, had to prove to the court why he does not owe procurations (?) (................. ?). On which day John Carter curate appeared and certified and promised to produce the procurations in the next court to the effect of the premises.
f45 - 20 April 1525
Hartly - Sir John Bele, excommunicated for contumacy, assigns to Sir John Carter curate of the parish there to produce the procurations (?) for the same Sir John Bele. On which day the same John Carter appeared and showed payment (?); absolved in the person of Sir John Bele (he owes for the suit 15d)
f48 - Frindsbury, 1 June 1525
Hartley - Sir John Carter curate there owes for fees of process which (......... ?)
f52 - Gravesend, 29 June 1525
Hartly - Sir John Carter curate of the parish there owes 15d for the process against John Bele, rector.
f54 - St Michaels Rochester, the Friday after St Anne 1525
Hartley - Sir John Carter for the fees of Sir John Bele rector there, 15d.
f57,60 - Bishops visitation at Gravesend (?), 29 September 1525
Hartly - Sir John Bele rector, did not appear
Sir John Carter, curate
Henry Garrard, John Nordish, churchwardens
T Cripps, Henry Clarke, parishioners say all is well.
f71 - Sir John Bele for not appearing at the visitation.
f104ff - Archdeacon's visitation, 21 September 1525 for Hartley.
Hartley - Sir John Bele rector
John Overey, John Northash, churchwardens
William Smyth, T Clement, parishioners, say all is well.
f124 - Discoveries in Rochester Deanery (after visitation, 1525)
Hartly - the rectory is in great disrepair due to the default of the rector (................... ?) of the lord official.
f135ff - Archdeacon's visitation, Gravesend 17 September 1526)
Hartley - Peter's Pence: 9d; Procurations: 6s 8d
Sir John Bele, rector
John Overy, John Northash) parishioners by the bill of John Northash (........ ?)
This is the earliest visitation of the church that survives, which has found its way into the earliest register of wills. It is fairly detailed. From it we learn the chancel and rectory are out of repair, and that the parishioners need to supply candles for baptisms and at the pyx.
Breviary - a service book, presumably a portable one was needed for visiting the sick
Pyx - a box that contained the consecrated bread.
Hertle - the church of Hertle was visited on the said day. Sir John Cotyngham, chaplain. Parishioners there whose names are Roger Smyth and John Northassch, Churchwardens; Thomas Godfray, John Parys, John Dalton, who appeared and said.
Sir John Cotyngham, chaplain aforesaid, has to exhibit his letters of ordination by (......)
The parishioners are commanded that they have candles at baptismal fonts and at the pyx for the body of Christ by Christmas under a penalty of 40d. Likewise that they have a portable breviary book by Easter, under penalty of 6s 8d.
The Rector is commanded that he repair the windows with glass in the chancel under penalty of 2 nobles (13s 4d). And the rectory completely by Easter under the said penalty. For the repairs of which and the exhibition of the chaplain, the lord official sequestered the revenues for the use of the rectory to the value of the repairs and exhibition aforesaid. And he entrusted the said sequestration, to be faithfully observed, to Thomas Godfray, farmer of the said rectory (....?)
John Boxwode is censured that he is withholding 25s from the goods of the church. The parties appeared and sought (.... manuscript is faded here).
4 Archdeacon's Visitations 1504-1670
This is a book of archdeacon's visitations. They list the rectors and churchwardens and also many other matters that were presented by the parishioners or otherwise came to light. They reveal that continued neglect by John Bele and William Cokks had left the chancel and rectory in a very poor state, to the point where the revenues of the living were sequestered to pay for repairs. A later visitation in 1565 found that the church had no chalice and was using a glass instead. Many of the presentments were about parishioners said to be living immoral lives. The book was bound later and so the volume contains more than one series of foliation.
4.1 Visitation 1504
f10 - Archdeacon's visitation, 1504 - Hertley
Sir Henry Monagh, rector - did not appear
John Overey, John Norres, churchwardens
John Shaw, Laurence Sibbyn, parishioners, present that all is well
The abovesaid appeared and the lord ordered John Norres and John Shaw to produce the bill of their accounts at Gravisend in 3 (?) weeks.
f35 - Informations of Rochester Deanery, 7 October 1504
Hertley - John Shaw was censured for (....... ?).On 5th November in the chapel of Gravisend, he appeared and denied the article, whom the lord ordered to appear with 6 oath helpers in Gravesend. On 27th November in the chapel of Gravesend he appeared and produced for the account (?), James Lannce, John Borden, Robert Lowry, William Bouden, William Hunt and Pers Prince.
Sir Henry Monaghe is censured for his bad conduct with diverse people.
Agnes Pae (?) is censured (......................................................... ?)
f37 - Herteley - John Shawe, churchwarden of Hertly church, on 20th February (1505) appeared before the lord in the chapel of Gravisend, and confessed that he has handed over the parish accounts there and that there is owed to the said church - 2 cows, 3 sheep, 3 lambs for delivery at the feast of (........ ?) one cow, one sheep and one lamb and the remainder at the feast of Easter next.
4.2 Visitation 1527
f9 - Archdeacon's visitation, 28 September 1527 - Hartly
Sir John Bele, rector
Alex Sedcomp, clerk
John Overy, John Bele, churchwardens
John Nordish, John Whithede, parishioners - they say that the rector does not celebrate (mass) on all Sundays and Holy Days.
f17 - Chapter of Rochester Deanery, 21 November 1527
Hartely - Sir John Bele, rector there, is censured because he does not celebrate (mass) except (?) on Sundays and Holy Days. He appeared in the palace before the lord. Whom he ordered that he celebrate (mass) and that he reside in his benefice (........... ?) under pain of the law. And because he alleges that he does not have a parish clerk, the lord orders that he shall order the parishioners to provide for a clerk to serve the church.
Hartly - John Overey, churchwarden, appeared and undertook to repair the window in the church before the feast of St Mary Magdalene.
f18 Hartley - the churchwardens of St Mary Coulyng against John Bele of Hartly, in a case of subtraction of (..... ?) ; Bele appeared and confessed that he owed 6s 8d before the feast of Christmas and now promised his good faith.
4.3 Visitation 1528
f38 - Archdeacon's visitation, September 1528 - Hartly
Sir John Bele, rector
Henry Garrard, John Overy, churchwardens
William Smyth, John Nordish, parishioners, present all is well
4.4 Visitation 1529
f64 - Chapter held in St Petronella's church, Ridley, 25 February 1529, for the rebuilding of the church there ...............
John Rygge is ordered to restore the bell to Ridley church recently (?) demised and lent to the church and parishioners of Hartly by Thomas Taylor, whose widow the same John Rygge married, before the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary or on it, under pain of excommunication.
(a page of names and sums pledged follows including 'the widow Cripps of Hartly - 40d; other donors are from Ash, Ridley, Northfleet, Wrotham, and Stansted.)
f83 - Archdeacon's visitation, 16 September 1529 - Hartely
Sir John Bele, rector (bill that he (........ ?))
Henry Gerrard, John Overy, churchwardens, Overy says that he has rendered this year's account
Richard Smyth, John Nordisshe, parishioners by bill
f89 - Chapter held at Halgstow, 25 October 1529
Hartley - Henry Gerrard, John Overy, churchwardens did not render the account of the church property for many years, their pretext being that the church was undergoing great repairs; on which day Henry Gerrard appeared and promised to repair before the next visitation under penalty of interdict, and that he would give the accounts to the parishioners and certify thereof to us (?) at the next (...... ?). On which day he appeared and exhibited the accounts, and John Overy confessed that they owed the church 21s 3d (there is a marginal note here that says "for a cow") and undertook to pay before the feast of Christmas.
Sir John Beele is censured for neglect of his office in the same as in the bill, viz for repairs to the chancel and for neglect of the said offices (services). The rector appeared and promised to repair and reform the premises before the feast of the Annunciation and certified .
4.5 Visitation 1530
f104 - Chapter for Rochester Deanery, 31 January 1530
Harteley - the churchwardens have to certify whether John Overy has paid them 21s 3d on the feast of Christmas, not cited.
Harteley - the rector has the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to sufficiently repair the buildings of his rectory according to past proceedings, not cited.
f12 - Archdeacon's visitation, 17 September 1530 - Hartelay
Sir John Beyll, rector
Henry Garrard, John Smyth, churchwardens (sworn by bill)
John Nordych, John Lawns (sworn by bill)
f22 - Chapter at St Nicholas Rochester, Saturday after St Edward, 1530
Hartly - the chancel of the church and the buildings of the rectory are very ruinous and "the verments be lose oute ye stonewarke"; on which day he appeared and promised repairs as quickly as possible. The lord sequestrated the revenues (of the benefice).
4.6 Visitation 1531
f46,53 - Archdeacon's visitation, 14 September 1531
Inductions this year - Hartly 6s 8d
Master William Cocks, rector
Henry Garrett, John Smyth, churchwardens
Richard Walter, John Walter, parishioners by bill
f64 - Deanery of Rochester, 27 November 1531
Hartly - John Lannce does not serve his parish church on festival days, on which day he appeared, who was ordered that he serve the church in future.
Hartely - the wife of John Lannce is censured as a whore by the report of her neighbours.
4.7 Visitation 1532
f89 - Archdeacon's visitation, 16 September 1532 (Gravesend)
Sir William Cok, Rector
Henry Garrard, John Smyth, churchwardens
John Nordish, Richard Smyth, parishioners by bill
f93 - Rochester deanery, the Thursday after St Katharine 1532
Hartly - the window of the chancel has been allowed to become ruinous by the default of the rector and the earth (t'ra) in the chancel (?) is overturned. In addition all buildings of the rectory are very ruinous. Not cited, on which day the lord official sequestered all revenues to be used for repairs until they are completed.
4.8 Visitation 1533
f77 - Archdeacon's visitation, 22 September 1533 - Hartley
Sir William Cox, rector; Sir Elvin Carlton, 40s
Henry Garralt, Thomas Walter, churchwardens
Richard Smyth, John Nordyche, parishioners at Christmas
4.9 Visitation 1534
f108 - Rochester Chapter, 16 January 1534
Hartly - Elizabeth Manus is censured for the crime of adultery with several.
f115 - Archdeacon's visitation, 23 November 1534 - Hartly
Sir William Cok, rector
Brother Dertford (? ms badly smudged here), curate
Sir Richard of Faukham has to pay the curate. They say that the repairs to the dwelling house and chancel have not been carried out in accordance with the premises made with the lord official (................... ?) badly damaged by the wind.
John Walter, Richard Walter, parishioners (present) all is well.
4.11 Visitation 1563
f17 - Archdeacon's visitation, 14 September 1563 - Hartley
Sir William Potter, rector there
James Cripps, Thomas Goodden (parishioners and churchwardens) sworn by bill
4.12 Visitation 1564
f31 - Archdeacon's visitation, 19 September 1564 - Hartley
Sir William Potter, rector there
Thomas Whythead, Richard Averay (churchwardens and parishioners there) sworn by bill
4.13 Visitation 1565
f43 - Archdeacon's visitation, 1565
Hartley (they hath a glass and no chalice or cup)
Sir William Potter, rector there, subscribed
William Pare, Richard Wayre, churchwardens and parishioners (sworn by bill)
4.14 Visitations 1663, 1670
KAO DRb/Vb6 "John Warner, Archdeacon Rochester - the Book of Visitation of Churches
f15 Tuesday 25th August 1663
Hartley - on which day John Young, churchwarden of the said parish (appeared) and humbly submitted himself etc and warned etc. to cause the Bible to be forthwith new bound; a book for the clerk and the ivy to be cut down. All which promises are to be done at or before Easter next and certificate to be made thereof accordingly.
(Fawkham - Bible to be rebound, communion table to be railed in and set up; the steeple, church porch and fences of the churchyard to be repaired)
f36 5th July 1670
Hartley - the lord's official against Thomas Younge, churchwarden. On which day was the proclamation for the said churchwarden Young to appear. Who aforesaid ordered to cause the communion table to be railed in; and the chest standing in the chancel to be removed to the lower end of the church; to proved a cover with a canopy for the font; to provide a hood for the minister; to cause the church to be whited and to provide a book of Homilies. To cause the bushes, ivy and elders about the church to be put down and the churchyard to be paled, railed or walled. All which premises are to be done and certificates to be made at the next court holden at Rochester, 9 September next.
The chancel to be whited and butress on the north side of the chancel is to be repaired, and the bushes cut down; the parsonage house to be repaired in the ????? and the walls thereof as also the outhouses in the like manner as the barn and fences.
(Fawkham - tiling of the church to be repaired; napkin for communion table, hood for minister required, canopy cover for font, repairs to steeple, elders cut down, churchyard to be walled)
5. Taxatio 1291
This was a tax on churches instituted by pope Nicholas IV in 1291-2.
The Taxatio Database has all the results for Rochester Diocese.
Taxation of the Churches in Rochester Diocese:
6. Excommunication of Thomas Barrus 1438
Ref: TNA/C85 144/16)
This document forms part of a series of requests made to the Cursitor's Office.
There were two sorts of excommunication - (1) lesser, where the person could still attend church but couldn't take communion or be prayed for; (2) greater - where they were barred from the church and couldn't have a Christian burial.
The bishop had passed a sentence of greater excommunication on Thomas Barrus, but even in the Middle Ages this didn't scare everyone into compliance. This was the limit of the bishop's power, but he had one more sanction - he could request the Cursitor's Office (part of the court of Chancery) to issue a writ of de excommunicato capiendo which would allow for the arrest and imprisonment of the person in question.
Thomas Barrus was presumably a relative of John Barrus, rector of Hartley from 1433 to 1437. We are not told why he was excommunicated, but his likeliest "crime" was to owe the church money from his relative's estate. John himself was accused of receiving an excommunicated person in church only a few months before.
The same series has a similar request in regard of John Gladwyne of Redlegh (Ridley), dated 26 February 1402.
To the most excellent in Christ, his prince and lord Henry, by the Grace of God illustrious king of England and France and Lord of Ireland. William by divine permission bishop of Rochester. Greetings in the Lord, by whom kings rule and princes reign. Of your excellent reign we signify and inform by the tenor of these presents that Thomas Barrus of Hertle in our diocese, on account of his manifest contumacies, having incurred from our office (the sentence) of greater excommunication by our highest authority as ordinary, was and is lawfully and rightfully bound in which sentence of excommunication, has for 40 days and more persevered and still does persevere in a wicked and obdurate frame of mind... We humbly seek the majesty of the holy mother church, and request the contumacy of the same Thomas be reprimanded, according to your royal custom of England and to favour the holy Church; so that your royal severity and speed may utterly coerce and constrain those for whom fear of God does not call back from sin. May the Almighty preserve your rule of each kingdom for long years. In witness whereof we have had our seal affixed to these presents. Given at Hallyng 17 January 1438, and in the first year of our consecration.
7. Inventory of Church Goods 1552 (
Archaelogia Cantiana vol 9  pp 266-268)
This document really marks the end of the middle ages for the Church. It lists the items used in church services on the eve of the Reformation. The Book of Common Prayer of 1549 said that minister should still wear a surplice, and if they had a degree, a hood.
This is a follow up to a previous inventory we don't have in 1549/50. At the inquiry at Dartford, the Rector and Churchwardens claimed a large number of items missing from that list had been stolen. Often it turned out that such items had only been hidden, but we don't know whether this is the case.
Key to some of the terms used
Crewel - a yarn used in embroidery
Damask - silk fabric often with colourful designs
Latten - a mixed metal similar to brass
Paraphrases of Erasmus - a commentary on the New Testament, which all Churches were ordered to have in 1547
Pyx - a box that contained the consecrated bread
Inventory of Church Goods in the parish of Hartley, 1552, 23rd day of November 6 Edward VI. Churchwardens John Overy and John Smyth.
First one vestment of cruell and thread with an alb
item one altar cloth
2 candlesticks of latten
2 towels of plain linen cloth
a pix of latten
a vestment of red damask
a cross of copper and gilt
2 bells sited in the steeple
a bible of the large volume and an paraphrases of Erasmus
To be safely kept and preserved by the said churchwardens and the same and every parcel thereof to be forthcoming at all times hereafter when it shall be of them required. In witness whereof as well the said commissioners as the said churchwardens have subscribed their names on the day and year above written.
Percyvall Hartt; Martyn Bowes; Thomas Lovelace
(reverse) At Dertford 23rd day of November in the year of the reign of King Edward VI, the sixth, memorandum that all the parcels of goods plate, jewels, bells and ornaments appurtaining to the parish church within written, mentioned in the inventory, made in the third year of the reign of our said sovereign lord (1549/50) are contained within this present inventory and been delivered by the within named commissioners to the within named Churchwardens to answer the same - except 3 vestments all cruell and thread with their albs, one cope of cruell and thread, a surplice, a challice with the patent of silver weighing 5oz, 2 corporals of linen, 3 altar cloths, a cope of green satin, a bridges, a hand bell, presented unto the said commissioners by the oaths of William Potter parson there, and the said churchwardens to be stolen. And also except one candlestick with 3 branches of latten, likewise presented by the said parties to be sold by the said churchwardens with the consent of the parishioners there and employed about the necessary reparations of the parish church within written.
8. Induction Mandates 1593 - 1826
(Centre for Kentish Studies KAO DRa/Ai38)
Induction mandates were letters from the Bishop to the Archdeacon, ordering him to institute the choice of the church's patron as the new rector. They also tell us the name of the patron of the church at the time.
(21 March 1593) Charles Hutchinson, after the death of the last incumbent. Patron William Serche for this time only, by reason of the advowson of Gilbert, earl of Shropshire.
(4 May 1667) John Stacey MA after the death of Henry Eves. Patron: Francis earl of Shropshire.
(8 February 1681) John Priest clerk, after the death of John Stacy. Patron: Charles, earl of Shropshire.
(1 June 1710) Samuel Dunster MA, after the death of John Priest. Patron: Charles earl of Shropshire.
(3 February 1721/2) Thomas Blomefield BA, after cession of Samuel Dunster. Patron: earl of Plymouth.
(18 July 1771) Richard Clarke, after the death of Thomas Blomefield. Patron; Robert Clarke of Winchester.
(12 July 1786) Thomas Bradley, after the resignation of Richard Clarke. Patron: Richard Forrest of Greenhithe, lime merchant.
(24 January 1826) Edward Allen MA, after the death of Thomas Bradley. Patron: Edward Allen.
9. Glebe Terriers 1634-1758
(Centre for Kentish Studies KAO DRb/At37)
These list the property belonging to the Rector. At Hartley this historically consisted of Parsonage Cottages and Orchard in Church Road, and a block of land at the top of Hoselands Hill. The latter was exchanged in 1851 for what became the Old Rectory and Rectory Meadow. The rectory referred to then was on the site of Parsonage Cottages.
The terrier of the glebe land with houses etc belonging to the parsonage of Hartley, made the 12th day of May 1634
First: one mansion dwelling house, 2 barns with a little stable adjoined to one of them, with a yard, garden a little meadow plat on the backside of the house; and for ground on the backside of the greater barn, containing by estimation 1½ acres more or less. And bounding on the lands of Sir John Sedley towards the east, and to the lands of one Mr Hickman towards the north and west, and towards the king's highway towards the south.
Also one other croft of arable land containing 4 acres, and a coppice spring wood, containing by estimation 5 acres more or less. And bounding to the lands of Sir John Sedley to the north, and to the lands of Mr John Walter towards the west and south, and to the king's highway the east.
(S) Charles Hutchinson, rector
(S) Edward Best, churchwarden
(S) Gregory Garner, sidesman
(X) Thomas Whitehead, his mark.
1675 - A terrier of the glebe lands, belonging to the parish of Hartley the present year 1675.
Inprimis 1 house, l barn, 1 fodder house with a stable
1 meadow with a garden plot, containing 1 acre
1 piece of woodland containing 5 acres
1 piece of arable land containing 4 acres
This is a true terrier.
John Stacey rector there
Edward Best, churchwarden (S)
1758 - The terrier of all the Glebe lands of and belonging to the parsonage of Hartley, made September 10th, 1758
Inprimis: 1 mansion dwelling house, one barn witha stable adjacent to it with a yard, garden and a little meadow plot on the back side of the house, and some ground on the back side of the barn, containing in all by estimation 1½ acres, more or less, and bounding on the lands of Sir Charles Sedley towards the east, and the lands of one Mr Hickman toward the north and west, and toward the king's highway on the south.
One other croft of arable land containing 4 acres and a coppice spring wood containing by estimation more or less, bounding on the lands of Sir Charles Sedley to the north, to the lands of Richard Treadwell toward the west and south, and to the king's highway toward the east.
Thomas Blomefield, rector
Edward Thorpe, churchwarden
Joseph Oliver, overseer
Thomas Underhill, overseer
10. Churchwardens' Presentments 1704-70
(Centre for Kentish Studies KAO DRa/VpR 1-90)
By this time the churchwardens' Presentments were usually formulaic, the wardens usually ignored all the questions and answered "All is well". However, the class is not without its uses - it allows an almost complete list of wardens to be constructed for the 18th century; and the visitation process of the archdeacon associated with each bundle adds the names of curates and, on occasion, parish clerks. Like most small parishes, Hartley had only one churchwarden at this time. A few presentments for Hartley contain further information and they are reproduced below.
(a) DRa/VpR3 - 1715
Parish Clerk (unnamed) - "He does his duty".
(b) DRa/VpR4 - 1719
Church - "We present the steeple of the Church to be out of repair and in some danger of falling."
Minister's House - "We present the parsonage house very musch ruinated and out of repair."
(c) DRa/VpR5 - 1720
Minister's House - "The pales of the parsonage house out of repair." DRa/VpR6a - 1721
"We the said churchwardens having duly considered our office do present all things well within the said parish , saving the parsonage house which is very much out of repair."
11. Conveyance of the advowson of Hartley Church 1759
An advowson is the right to appoint an ordained clergyman as the rector or vicar of a Church of England parish church, which was treated in the past like a property right which could be bought and sold. Now this is not the case, and if the patron of the church does not appoint someone within time, then the advowson will go to the bishop.
The Bishop of Rochester is now the patron of All Saints' Church.
Conveyance of Advowson of Hartley Church.
This indenture made the 18th day of September 1759... Between the Right Honourable George, Earl of Shrewsbury of the one part, and the Rev Thomas Blomfield clerk, rector of Hartley in the county of Kent of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Earl in consideration of the sum of £250 of lawful money of Great Britain to him paid by the said TB... hath granted, bargained and sold .... all that the advowson, donation and right of patronage and presentation of in and to the Rectory and parish church of Hartley...