Fairby - Hartley-Kent

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Fairby


Fairby Grange, Ash Road

If you live on the west side of Ash Road between Chapel Wood Road and Parkfield, then the chances are (with a few exceptions) that you are living on part of Fairby Farm.  But the 19th century farm is really an amalgam of more than one older holding.  

Fairby Grange and the land between Castle Hill and Fairby Lane

Beginning with the central part of the holding between Fairby Lane and Castle Hill.  We know that the owner was John Feerby in 1420 because he is mentioned as the plaintiff in court case where he was owed £7 (he was presumably still living here when made executor of the will of John Launce, rector of Southfleet in 1424).  He was an important personage, for two years later we find him appointed to enquire into "all falsifiers and counterfeiters of weights in the county of Kent".  Sometime later he moved to St Pauls Cray where he is buried in 1454.  By the end of the c15th Fairby had come into the hands of the Overy family.  William Overy of Horton Kirby left it in his will to his son John in 1482.  His grandson John died in 1555, then Fairby was the classic mixed farm with wheat, barley, oats, cows, sheep, pigs and poultry.  He also owned land at Fawkham and Ash, as well as Forge Cottage and the farms now called Woodins and Mintmakers in Hartley.  Moving three generations on to 1604, the Hartley estate was owned by brothers John and Richard.  They decided to partition the lands between them, John was allotted "Farbyes" and "St Peters" (Mintmakers).  In 1648 Fairby passed out of the family and was bought by John Young, who hailed from Southfleet.

Around the mid c15th we know a John Paris was a landowner in Hartley. He appeared as a witness against the rector at a church court held at West Malling in 1438, where he said that the rector had celebrated mass in the presence of an excommunicated person. John died in 1451 and his will is one of the earliest surviving for Hartley. From his will we learn that he grew wheat and barley and kept sheep. He had three cloaks, one (his best) of russet. He left many gifts to the church, and on a more personal basis to Alice Brasyer "for looking after me in my illness". He had no sons, so he left his land to his daughter Rose Cotyer of Woodins. From place name evidence it seems likely that he owned 20 acres at the west end of St John's Lane (there was a later field which belonged to Fairby farm called Parrys Croft).

The Northern and Southern Part of the Farm

The remaining part of the later farm, that south of Fairby Lane and north of Castle Hill has a very different history, as it was associated with Pennis in Fawkham and Hartley Manor. Sometime about 1500 a London haberdasher, Elias Bingham, bought the southern part, together with lands in Fawkham and Ash from merchant taylor Laurence Harris. About the same time he had purchased Hartley Manor and Dawsland. He may have overextended himself for in 1515 he had to mortgage the estate and two years later this part of Fairby was purchased by the masters of the Savoy Hospital, which they sold on for £110 to one William Vertue. A few years later it had come to the White family. They eventually sold it to their long time tenant, Thomas Walter of Pennis in 1571, to add to the fields he already owned by 1541.   He divided his Hartley lands between his sons in 1590, and thanks to this we get a detailed list of the "Fairby" fields given to son John. This of course is the John who set up the coats and gowns charity and whose effegy can be seen on the fine wall monument in Fawkham Church. By 1657 the estate was heavily indebted and the heir Bennett Walter was forced to sell to Thomas Young, not before fighting a legal challenge to her husband's will by her two sons. This sale thus created the Fairby estate that lasted up to a century ago.

The map below gives a tentative layout of the two halves of the farm in the early 17th century. As fields are renamed, split or merged overtime, and we only have the descriptions in the surviving deeds to go on, it can only be a tentative plan. For example the deeds do not give a precise location of Great and Little Nutfields, although we have a general idea where they must be.


Map showing two halves of Fairby in early 17th Century

The Youngs and After

It was Thomas who built the house we see today in 1685 and moved there. According to the English Heritage listing, there is an iron wall plaque with the initials "TY 1685".

He died in 1688 but his son and heir John (1643-1713) also had to fight a legal battle over the estate from his niece Anne. Anne unsuccessfully claimed that Thomas's will was invalid and therefore the estate should be divided equally by the Kentish custom of gavelkind. As heir of her deceased father, she would have stood to inherit half the estate.

John added to the Hartley estate by purchasing Hartley Cottage, Stocks Farm and Forge Cottage. When John died, his elder son Thomas inherited Fairby. Thomas only had 2 children, Newton (1718-35) and Mary (1721-98), so when he died in 1747 it was Mary who became Fairby's new owner. Mary had married Richard Treadwell three years previously. Richard (1711-1803) lived to the age of 92, and his son Francis (1758-1851) matched him for longevity. Thus Fairby had only 2 owners in over a century. Recently an 1825 mortgage of Fairby has come to light, itself mainly to pay off an earlier mortgage. It records that Francis Treadwell had made an exchange of land with the neighbouring owner.




The Treadwells parted with ownership soon after (the 1852 advert gives a detailed description of the farm), and Mr J T Smith became the next owner. He employed Thomas Coulson as bailiff; Thomas was fined for letting a farm hand cattle along the highway in a foot and mouth outbreak in 1867. And on 7 March 1869 arsonists set fire to a wheat stack on the farm, in spite of the best efforts of the Dartford Fire Brigade, the stack was destroyed; the insurance company offered an enormous reward of £25 for information leading to an arrest. Edith Morton bought the house and 20 acres of land for £1,000 in 1906 and then spent £4,900 on the buildings and gardens. It was at this time the house came to be called Fairby Grange. She was succeeded by solicitor Robert Emmet in 1910.

Mr J T Smith sold it to James Timmins Chance, an glass industrialist from Smethwick. Then Thomas Morton bought the house and 20 acres of land for £1,000 in 1905 and then spent £4,900 on the buildings and gardens. It was at this time the house came to be called Fairby Grange. She was succeeded by Robert Emmet in 1910. The remainder of the estate was bought by Smallowners Limited and divided into smallholdings.

This was the time when people enjoyed taking long country walks for recreation. One such sightseer was Alfred Salter (1873-1945), a doctor and Christian Socialist from Bermondsey. He remembered seeing Fairby, and bought it when it came up for sale in 1917. He converted it into a convalescent home for poor women, consumptives and conscientous objectors (around 150 were able to stay here in WW1 (John W Graham - Conscription and Conscience, 1922) . One of those helped was George Dutch (1894-1983) who came here suffering from TB and other ailments. He wrote: "It was a glorious Spring and Summer and I remained there until October, working for the last few weeks in the gardens, orchards and hayfields. Thanks to good food and care and the fine Kentish air, I was completely cured. It is good to know that our world still produces good and clever men like Alfred Salter."

Mr Salter later gave it to the borough of Bermondsey as a home for mothers and children after childbirth and illness. In 1920 his wife Ada brought starving Austrian children here, who it is said, the village (but not the rector!) took to their hearts. In 1922 he gave the house to the borough of Bermondsey, and it then became a home for mothers and children after childbirth and illness. The children were known locally as "basket babies", from the distinctive wicker prams that became a familiar sight in Hartley's lanes. Fairby was also a plant nursery for the borough, as Ada and Alfred were keen to create a garden borough, and a municipal store sold its surplus vegetables. The Labour minister of health, John Wheatley, officially opened Fairby in 1924. In its first 3 years over 2,500 mothers and children came here, and infant mortality was slashed by a third. Ada and Alfred must have been effective political campaigners, for when they came to Bermondsey it was a Conservative borough with no Labour councillors, but by 1935 their oponents had lost every seat and had vitually withdrawn from the borough. No better valediction can be found than what he wrote when he knew he was near death: "I go with joy to my Master to start anew in His larger service. I ask my friends not to grieve over my death, but to rejoice that I was given great opportunities and that, by the Grace of God, I tried to utilize them in His Service and for the good of my fellow men, especially for them who are cast down and of low degree". The name of a house in Round Ash Way commemorates this remarkable man.


Pictures of Fairby as a Maternity Home

Bermondsey Borough sold the house in the 1950s and it reopened as a retirement home in about 1958. Many planning applications were made by interested parties for the 20 acre grounds, but in the end Ron Billings successfully applied to build Round Ash Way and the roads around it. It almost wasn't Round Ash Way, early plans show a verge instead of the green to satisfy the council's landscaping requirements. He offered part of the land to be the site of the new primary school, which the council accepted although their original plan was to build it where Billings Hill Shaw is today.


Source Documents

  
John Feerby - Calendar of Patent Rolls

8 Henry V p 285 m 21 (3 July 1420, Westminster)
Pardon of outlawry to Geoffrey Salle of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, yeoman, for not appearing to answer John Feerby of Hertle, Kent, esquire, touching a debt of £7.  London.

9 Henry V p 422, m 5d (11 February 1422, Westminster)

Commission to the justices of the peace, the sheriff and the escheator and John Drylond and John Ferby to enquire about all falsifiers and counterfeiters of weights in the county of Kent, in accordance with the ordinance in the last parliament.

In St Pauls Cray Church in the upper end of the south aisle on a grave stone is a brass plate, half torn off with this remaining inscription in black letters:

"Hic iacet Johannes Feerby generosus qui ob...... Decembris anno Domini MCCCC...."

Above the inscription were two circular plates of brass now lost and under them were the effigies of him and his wife.  The lower part of his is town away and that of his wife quite gone.  Under his figure are his four sons and under the mark of her plate as his daughters.  Beneath them are the circular brass plates remaining, on each of which is an eagle with it swings expanded holding a label in the beak on the left hand with this inscription in black letters "Salvatorem Meum" on the right hand Et in came mea videbo Deum".

Thorpe p 1002
  
Will of John Paris (1451)

The identification with Fairby is tentative and largely based on place name evidence.  The 1604 partition deed mentions two fields belonging to Fairby: Parrys Croft and Harrys Haw, names that do not have a ready explanation otherwise. Mr Paris had no sons so this may explain the fact that by 1482 Fairby belonged to the Overy family.

In the name of God, Amen.  4 April in the year of the Lord 1451.  I John Parysse of Hertle in the diocese of Rochester, of sound mind, make my will in this manner.  Firstly, I leave my soul to Almighty God my creator, and my body to be buried in the cemetery of the parish Church of Hertle next to the tomb of my deceased wife.  Item: I leave to the high altar of the same church - 20d.  Item: I leave for the roofing of the church - 15d.  Item: I leave to the light of blessed Mary there - 3 ewes with their lambs, from the best of my flock. Item: to the same light of the blessed Mary - half a quarter of barley to be paid and raised from the barley growing on my lands, on the feast day of All Saints.  Item: I leave to Sir John Bonde my curate - 12d.  Item: I leave to the Carmelite Brothers of Aylysford - 5s to pray for my soul for the remission of my sins.  Item: I leave to each chaplain saying mass on the day of my burial, celebrating mass from my soul together with the obsequies - 6d.  Item: I leave to Rose Cotyer, my daughter - my best cooking pot, with a tripod from the best.  Item: I leave to Joan, daughter of the said Rose - 4 of the better sheep and one quarter of barley, one brazen pot, one pan of medium quality and one posnet.  Item: I leave to John Cotyer, my godson - my better cloak of russet.  Item: I leave to Thomas Cotyer, eldest son of John Cotyer and the other boys of the same John - my two cloaks [.......] to make clothes for them and each of them. Item: I leave to Alice Brasyer, for looking after me in my illness - 6d in money with one bushel of wheat, from my growing corn.  Item: I leave to John Mabbis - 2 bushels of wheat from the corn as aforesaid. Item: I leave for expenses laid out on the day of my burial - a half quarter of wheat and one quarter of barley, and likewise on the day of my trental - another half quarter of wheat with another quarter of barley.  And if it should happen that there is a remainder therefrom, I will that it be distributed to the poor at the discretion of my curate and supervisor.  All other vessels especially of metal of whatever quality, which shall not be bequeathed above, I give and leave to Joan and John (sic), daughters of Thomas Cotyer, to be divided equally between them at the discretion of the said curate, my supervisor.  The remainder of all goods not bequeathed above, after my debts have been paid and legacies and funeral expenses have been honourably settled and completed; I will that it be given to the poor and distributed in pious ways, according to the discretion of my supervisor, in whom I place especial trust for the remission of my sins.  I appoint, make and constitute Thomas Cotier as executor of my will, and the said Sir John Bonde rector of the said Church supervisor of the said Thomas and of the executorship, so that by these presents the same Thomas can execute and complete faithfully and speedily the present (?) will with the supervision of my said supervisor.  Given and Hertle on the day and year abovesaid.

In addition I will that Roger Smyth, John Cotyer at le Hay and Stephen Smyth, my feoffees for all my lands and tenements in Hertle or elsewhere within the county of Kent, as appears more fully in a certain deed of enfeoffment made therefore, immediately after my death to enfeoff Rose Cotyer my daughter in all my lands and tenements aforesaid.  To have and to hold to the same Rose for the full term of her life without impeachment of waste...... with the duty of repairing, rebuilding and maintaining the houses and buildings constructed on the same.  And after the death of the said Rose, I will that the said lands and tenements shall pass by remainder to Joan and Joan, daughters of the said Rose aforesaid and shall remain as one holding.  To have and to hold all the said lands and tenements to the said Joan and Joan, and to the heirs of their bodies legitimately conceived in the first instance.  And if the said Joan and Joan die without heir of their bodies legitimately conceived, then I will that all the said lands and tenements shall be sold for the best price that can be obtained, and the money so received therefrom shall bedisbursed thus: half of the said money shall be given to the parish church of Hertle; and the other half of the said money shall be disbursed on pious uses.
  
Will of William Overy (1482)
Reference: CKS/DRb/PWr5/208b

In the name of God, Amen.  The 26th day of May in the year of the Lord 1482.  I William Overy of the parish of Horton next Frennyngham, of sound mind, make my will in the following manner: First I leave my soul to Almighty God and my body to be buried  in the Churchyard of the Blessed Mary of Horton.  Item: for tithes forgot to the said altar - 6d.  Item: to the light of the Blessed Mary aforesaid - 4d. Item to [......] - 8d.  Item: I leave to Hertlee Church - one [.......] ewe.  Item: I leave to John the son of Richard Overey - one ewe and one lamb.  Item: to each of my godchildren - [.....].  Item: to the high altar of Hertlee - 2s.  Item: to the Rector of Hertlee - 2 lambs for tithe.  Item: I leave to Blessed Mary of Walsyngham ? - 2d.  Item: I leave to lord (? crofero) of H[......] - 2d.  Item: to King Henry VI - 1d.  Item: I will that my six sons and daughters shall have [6] acres of land for 6 marks (£4), if they or any of them are able to (buy) it for the said 6 marks.  Item: I will that Richard Overey and John Overey, (my) sons, shall occupy my tenement with all its appurtenances in the parish of Hertle [..........] when John Overey my son shall be and reach the age of 20 years, and all profits for the whole time aforesaid shall be divided equally between the said Richard and John my sons.  And when the said John is 20 years old, I will that then the said John my son shall have the said tenement of mine with all its appurtenances being in Hertlee, for himself and his heirs forever.  And I will that the said John Overey my son, shall give to each of his brothers 3s 4d [..................] Item: that Joan my daughter shall have 40s at her marriage; and if it happens that the said Joan dies before she is married, then I will that her sister, my other daughter shall have 40s aforesaid on her marriage.  Item: I will that the said Joan shall have one featherbed and one bolster, one brazen pot and one dish.  Item: I will that Richard Overey and John Overey my sons shall have between them one brazen pot [.......].  Item: I will that Richard my son shall have 3s 4d.  Item: I will that John Gens and Matilda Gens shall have 2 ewes and 2 lambs.  The remainder of all my moveable goods, after my debts are paid, I give and will to my executors.  And I make and appoint as executors of this my present will - John Gens of Sowthflete and I make John Newman senior of Kempsying supervisor; and to each of them for their labour - [...]s 8d.  Witnesses to these presents: Henry Mabb, William Lese (?), William Smyth etc.
Will of John Overey (1509)
Reference: CKS/DRb/PWr6/245a&b

In the name of God, Amen.  The 13th day of April in the year of the Lord 1509.  I John Overy of Hartly of sound mind, make my will in this manner.  Firstly: I leave my soul to God; my body to be buried in His cemetery there.  Item: I leave to the high altar there - 20d.  Item: I leave for the painting of one cloth to hang before the high beam of the high cross - 8d.  Item: I leave to the parish church there - one cow worth 6s 8d.  The remainder of all my goods, I leave and bequeath to Alice my wife, whom I appoint as my executor; and I make Thomas Brokhole my supervisor.  With these witnesses: William Smyth and Laurence Sybbyng.

This is the last will of me the said Overey.  First I will that Alice my wife shall have all my lands and tenements as long as she is widow. And if she die widow , I will that Robert my son have the foresaid house and lands and tenements to him and his heirs lawfully begotten after his death.  And if she marry or else die widow, or the said Robert come to lawful age, then I will that he occupieth the said lands and rents, and shall keep (?) the said Robert till he come to lawful age or [..........] to yield accounts of the profits of the said lands to the use of the said Robert, when he cometh to lawful age.  And I will that when the said Robert cometh to his lands that he give to every of his brethren 40s, which I will he pay to them at the age of 24 years within one year next following at 2 payments, that is to wit - 20s at each payment.  And I will that the said Robert give to every of his sisters - 20s at their marriage.  And if the said Robert die without heirs of his body lawfully begotten. Then I will that John my son shall have the foresaid house and lands and tenements, to him and to his heirs lawfully begotten.  And if the said John die without issue lawfully begotten, then I will that the said lands and tenements remain to Thomas my son, and to his heirs of his body lawfully begotten.  And if the said Thomas decease without heirs of his body lawfully begotten; then I will that the lands and tenements remain to William my son, and to his heirs of his body lawfully begotten.  And if the said William decease without heirs of his body lawfully begotten, then I will they remain to Richard my son and to his heirs of his body lawfully begotten.  And if the said Richard decease without heirs lawful, then I will that the said lands and tenements be sold and the money thereof to be spent in good use in singing of masses, reparation of churches and in other meritorious deeds for the souls of my father and mother and all Christian souls. Provided alway that if it shall fortune any of my said sons to have and enjoy the said lands and tenements as is above rehearsed, then I will that he that so doth enjoy the said lands and tenements, pay to his brethren and sisters the foresaid sum as the said Robert should pay after the manner and form above expressed.  And if the same Robert or any of his said brethren to whom the said lands and tenements shall come to pay not to the said brethren or sisters or they depart the worth within the years above rehearsed the sum to them bequeathed above, then I will that their part that so deceaseth shall be equally deputed?
  
Deed of Partition between Richard and John Overy 29 September 1604

This indenture made the six and twentieth day of September in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord James by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith etc. viz. of England, France and Ireland the second, and of Scotland the eight and thirtieth.  Between John Overy of Hartly in the county of Kent, yeoman, one of the sons of Abraham Overy late of Hartly aforesaid, deceased, of the one part.  And Richard Overy of Hartly aforesaid, yeoman, one other of the sons of the said Abraham Overy, of the other part.  Witnesseth that whereas John Overy, late of Hartly deceased, the great-grandfather of the said John and Richard Overy, being seized in his demesne as of fee of and in four messuages or tenements, four gardens, four orchards and 186 acres of arable lands, pasture and wood more or less with the appurtenances in Hartly aforesaid, by his will and testament in writing bearing date the 16th day of July in the year of our Lord 1555 (amongst other things) did devise the said messuages, lands and tenements with the appurtenances unto Richard Overy his son for life and the reversion or remainder thereof after his death to the said Abraham his son, and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten.  Which Abraham being seized of the premises by force of the said gift and having issue male of his body lawfully begotten, the said John Overy and Richard Overy, parties to these presents, thereof afterwards died seized.  After whose death the same John and Richard Overy his sons entered into the premises and occupied the same together in common and undivided until now of late time, when by their mutual consent and agreement with the advice and assistance of their friends, a perfect partition and division, according to the laws of this realm was had and made betwixt them of the said messuages, lands and tenements with the appurtenances.  And that in manner and form following: that is to say.

That the said John Overy, one of the parties to these presents, should have hold and enjoy to him and his heirs forever in severality of and in full satisfaction of his part, purpart or moiety.  All and singular the messuages or tenements, houses, buildings, yards, gardens, orchards, lands, tenements and parcels of ground, with the appurtenances (parcel of the premises) hereafter immediately expressed, that is to say.  All that messuage or tenement called Farbyes with the appurtenances in Hartly aforesaid, and all houses, buildings, barns, stables, yards, gardens, orchards, thereunto belonging and those parcels of ground ensuing, namely Greate Nutfeild, Little Nutfeild, Plotfeild and Plotfield Spring, lying on the west side of the highway leading from Ashe to Dartford, and containing in them by estimation 34 acres more or less, Harries Hawe containing 7 acres more or less, the two Parrys Crofts and Ballocks Land containing together by estimation 14 acres more or less.  And also one other messuage, tenement or cottage with the appurtenances called St Peter and 2½ acres of ground more or less thereunto belonging, now or late in the occupation of John Comfort, with these parcels also of ground following, viz. Yewfeild, containing 6 acres more or less, Care Hill containing 13 acres more or less, Basedeane containing 4 acres more or less, and Greate Huttocks and Little Huttock with the springs thereunto adjoining containing together by estimation 10 acres more or less.  Into which premises last rented, assigned and allotted to the said John Overy for his part purpart or moiety, he the same John hath entered and is now seized thereof in severality according to the said partition.

And that the said Richard Overy the other party to these presents should have, hold and enjoy to him and his heirs forever in seveality for and in full satisfaction of his part, purpart or moiety.  All and singular the messuages or tenements, houses, buildings, yards, gardens, orchards, lands, tenements and parcels of ground with the appurtenances (residue of the premises first before recited) hereafter immediately expressed, that is to say.  All that messuage or tenement called Hayes House (Woodins) with the appurtenances in Hartly aforesaid, and all houses, buildings, barns, stables, yards, gardens and orchards thereto belonging.  And those parcels of ground ensuing, namely Welfeild containing 10 acres more or less, a little croft adjoining to the east side of the said messuage called Hayes containing 3 acres more or less. Poores Croft containing 5 acres more or less, Morrells Croft containing also 5 acres more or less.  And also one other messuage, tenement or cottage called The Smyth's Forge (Forge Cottage) with the houses, buildings, yards and garden together with 12 acres of ground more or less thereunto belonging, now in the occupation of John Warren or his assignees.  And threescore acres of ground more or less, lying together in several parcels to a green against the said messuage called the Smyth's Forge towards the east, to the highway leading from Ash to Dartford towards the west, to the lands of William Sedley esquire towards the north, and to the lands of Thomas Launce and of John Walter gent. towards the south.  Into which premises last recited, assigned and allotted to the said Richard Overy for his part, purpart or moiety, he the same Richard hath entered and is thereof now seized in severality according to the said partition.

Now for the better corroboration and confirmation of the said partition and division made, assented unto and agreed in manner and form aforesaid.  It is covenanted, granted and agreed by and betwixt the said parties to these presents and either of them severally doth covenant, grant and agree of himself and his heirs to and whichever of them and his heirs severally by these presents to stand to and agree to the said partition and division.  And that either of them the said parties to these presents and his heirs and assigns shall or may without the loss, trouble or interruption after by the other of them the said parties (his heirs or assigns) have hold and quietly enjoy the said messuages, lands, tenements and parcels of ground to him assigned and allotted for his part, purpart or moiety as is aforesaid.  And that also acquired and discharged or sufficiently saved harmless of and from all incumbrances whatsoever had or committed by the other of them the said parties.  And further the said Richard Overy, party to these presents, doth of him an his heirs remise, release, and quitclaim by these presents unto the said John Overy the other party to these presents, being now in full and peaceable possession and seizin of the premises to him assigned and allotted as is aforesaid, and to his heirs and assigns forever. All the right, title and interest and demand which he the said Richard now hath or late had or hereafter may have or claim of, in or to the said messuages, lands, tenements and parcels of ground with the appurtenances to him the said John Overy assigned and allotted for his part, purpart or moiety, by force of the said partition or of these presents or by any other ways or means whatsoever.  And in like manner the same John Overy, party to these presents doth further for him and his heirs remise, release and quitclaim by these presents unto the said Richard Overy his brother being now also in full and peaceable possession and seizin of the premises to him the said Richard assigned and allotted as is aforesaid and to his heirs and assigns forever.  All the right, title, estate, interest and demand which he the said John Overy may have or late had or hereafter may have or claim of, in or to the said messuages, lands, tenements and parcels of ground with the appurtenances to him the said Richard Overy assigned and allotted for his part, purpart or moiety by force of the said partition or of these presents or by any other ways or means whatsoever.  And lastly it is covenanted and agreed by and betwixt the said parties to these presents and either of them severally for him and his heirs doth covenant, grant and agree to and with the other of them, his heirs and assigns by these presents, that either of them the said parties and his heirs shall yearly during the life of Dorothy Comfort, his mother, pay or cause to be paid to her the same Dorothy or her assigns, the son of 40s of lawful money of England for and in lieu and discharge of one annuity or rentcharge of £4 granted out of the premises or some part thereof to the said Dorothy during her life by the said Abraham Overy her late husband and that at such days and times and in such manner and form as the same annuity is payable by force of the said grant.  In witness whereof the parties aforesaid have to these presents interchangeably put their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

(S) Richard Overy
Conveyance by John Overy to Thomas Young, 1648
Reference: TNA C54/3394

John Young was buried at Southfleet 24/2/1658.

This indenture made the 11th day of May 1648 and in the four and twentieth year of the reign of our sovereign lord, Charles by the grace of England, Scotland and France, and Ireland king, defender of the faith etc.  

Between John Overy of Hartley in the county of Kent, yeoman, of the one part, and John Younge of Southfleet in the said county, yeoman, Frances his wife, and Thomas Younge, son of the said John Younge, and Margaret the wife of the said Thomas of the other part.

Witnesseth that the said John Overy for and in consideration of the sum of 5 shillings of lawful English money to him in hand paid by the said John Younge, Frances his wife, Thomas Younge and Margaret his wife, at and before the sealing of these presents, the receipt whereof the said John Overy doth hereby confess.  Hath granted, bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant, bargain and sell unto the said John Younge, Frances his wife, Thomas Younge and Margaret his wife, and to the heirs and assigns of the said Thomas and Margaret.

All that his messuage, tenement or farm, commonly called and known by the name of Farbyes also Varbyes, or by what other names soever the same is called.  Situate and being in the parish of Hartley aforesaid, and now in the possession of the said John Overy.  And all those his several fields or closes of arable, meadow, pasture and woodland to the said messuage, tenement of farm belonging, and being in the said parish of Hartley and hereafter in these presents mentioned, viz The Two Great Nuttfeilde with the little spring or coppice thereunto adjoining on the west, The Little Nuttfeild, Harris Hay, The Two Parris Croft, The Seven Acres, and another spring or coppice ground of 3 acres or thereabouts.  All which said parcels of land contain by estimation 48 acres or thereabouts, be it more or less, and are now in the possession of the said John Overy or his assigns.  With all and singular the appurtenances to the said messuage, tenement, farm and premises belonging or appertaining or therewith now used, occupied and enjoyed or accepted, reputed or take as part, parcel or member thereof.  And the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders of all and singular the premises and all the estate, right, title, interest, claim and demand whatsoever of him the said John Overy of, in and to the said bargained premises, or any part thereof.

To have and to hold the said messuage, tenement, farm and all other the premises hereinbefore mentioned to be bargained and sold unto the said John Younge and Frances his wife, Thomas Younge and Margaret his wife, and to the heirs and assigns of the said Thomas and Margaret forever.

In witness whereof the said parties have to these present indentures interchangeably set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written.

And memorial that on the day and year abovewritten, John Overie came before the said lord King in his Chancery, and acknowledged the said indenture and all and singular contained and specified in it, in the above form.  Sworn the 11th day of May in the said year.
Northern and Southern Part of the Holding

Deed of Partition between Thomas and John Walter dated 20 April 1590

Made between
(1) Thomas Walter of Fawkham, yeoman
(2) John Walter of Grayes Inn, son

Whereas Thomas Walter has sons viz, said John Walter (eldest), Thomas Walter (2nd) and Robert Walter (3rd), and is seised of lands in Hartley, Fawkham and elsewhere.  To avoid problems after his death he had decided to partition his land.

John Walter to get:

6 acres of land and wood in Hartley called Chantry in the occupation of John Hadlowe.  Abbutting the Ash to Longfield highway (west), lands of Richard Overy (N and E), and lands of James Lance (S).

11 parcels adjoining in Hartley called Lymekills Grove (3 acres), Lymekells Crofte (3a), 4 parcels called Netherfeilde Hylls (3a), Shrimpling Grove (3a), Rye Crofte (12a), Chaulkenfeilde (10a), Chaulkenfeild Woold (10a), Ellenden Gosse (10a), abutting the foresaid premises (S and W), highway and lands of Richard Overy (E, W and N), in the occupation of Thomas Walter his father, ? William Cano or one of them.

4 parcels of land in Hartley called Westlands, Westlands Wooldes and Harteley Holde, containing 26 acres.  In the occupation of Thomas Walter the father, William Cano or one of them.  Bounded by highway and lands of Richard Overy (S and E), land and wood of parsonage (N and E), and the foresaid premises (W and S).

Presumably separate deeds were executed for the shares of the other two brothers.
Conveyance by Bennett Walter to Thomas Young 17 August 1657

Made between

(1) Bennett Walter of Fawkham, widow
(2) Thomas Young of Southfleet

Sale of estate under the will of John Walter for £665, of land in Ash and Hartley

1. Chapel Wood Field (4a): bounded by Chapelwood (S); Ash to Dartford highway (E); lands of said John Walter (W); Lower Chapel Wood Field (N)
2. Lower Chapel Wood Field (3a): bounded by Upper Chapel Wood Field (S); Ash to Dartford highway (E); Limekillcroft and Spring (N); lands of John Walter (W)
3. Lymekillcroft (3a): bounded by Chapel Field (S); Highway (E); Limekillspring (W); Neither Field (N)
4. Lymekill Spring (3a): bounded by lands of John Walter and lower end of Chaple Field (S); Lymekillcroft (E); Neither Field and The Valley (N)
5. Sprimpling Spring (2a): bounded by the highway (E & W); Neither Field (S); Rye Croft (N).

Occupied by John Dawlton or his assignees.

6. Neither Field (10a): bounded by the highway (W); Killcroft & Spring (S); Rye Croft (N)
7. The Other Neither Field (7a): bounded by Neither Field (E); Lymekillspring (S); The Valley (W)
8. Neitherfield Hill (8a): bounded by Neither Field (S); lands of John Walter (W); Pennis Valley Wood (N)
9. The Valley (7a): bounded by Neither Field (E); Lymekillspring (S); Northlands Wood (W); lands of John Walter (N)

In Hartley and Fawkham, occupied by Edward Best or his assigns.

10. Rye Croft (12a): bounded by highway (E); Shrimplings Spring (S); Neitherfield Hill (W); lands of said Thomas Young (N)
11. Chalkefield (9a): bounded by lands of Thomas Edwards and Thomas Young (E); Pinnace Valley Wood and Spring (S & W); Platfield Spring (N)
12. Grubb Piece (3a): bounded by Platfield Spring (E); Pinnace Valley Wood and Chalken Field (S); highway from Fawkham to Hartley (N)

In Hartley in the tenure of Widow Crowhurst

13. Great Old Downe (20a): bounded by Fawkham to Hartley road (S); land from Fawkham to Greensted Greene (W); Old Downes (N)
14. The Downs (12a): bounded by the said Fawkham to Hartley road (S); Parsonage Croft belonging to Longfield (N)
15. Little Old Downs (4a): bounded by Upper Old Downs Wood (E); Hartley Laine (S)
16. Hartelee Hold (4a): bounded by Gleabeland Wood (N); Upper Old Downs Wood (E); Lower Old Downs Wood (S)
17. Great Old Downe Wood (10a): bounded by Hartley to Fawkham road (S); Old Downs Wood (W); Gleabeland Wood (N)
18. Westlands (7a): bounded by Ash to Dartford road (E); Great Old Downs Wood (W); Morrice Croft (S); Gleabelands of Hartley (N)
19. Westlands Spring (1a): bounded by the foresaid field (N); Hartley Laine (E)

In Fawkham and Hartley, in the occupation of Leonard Carrier.
Sale of Farm Stock at Fairby and New House Farms, 1852

This is an advert from the Times of 18 September 1852.  It lists the stock from Fairby Farm, Ash Road and New House Farm, Church Road (where New Ash Green is now).  Fairby is particularly detailed and shows a farm mainly devoted to arable crops, which was commonplace then.  But later the effect of the repeal of the corn laws and agricultural depression would alter the balance between arable and pasture.

Fairby Farm, Hartley, Kent - Valuable Live and Dead Farming Stock, the produce of 45 acres of wheat, 40 acres of oats, 12 acres of pease, 7 acres of tares, all the excellent household furniture, and other effects - by Mr G MANDY, on Thursday, September 23, upon the Premises, Hartley, Kent, by order of the executors of the late Mr Frank Treadwell, deceased.

The live stock comprises 8 young and active draught horses, gray mare and foal, a chestnut colt, by mettle quiet to ride and drive, a 3 year old bay colt (unbroken), a 2 years gray cart colt, and 3 yearling colts, 5 good milch cows in calf, fat calf, a handsome pony and donkey, 8 fat sheep, sow in pig, and a large quantity of poultry.  The dead stock consists of 2 very strong waggons, timber carriage, light bavin carriage, 3 dung carts, 2 light chaise carts, pony cart and harness, turn-rise and other ploughs, ox and small harrows, capital iron land rollers, hop nidgots? bean and pea brakes, cleaning machines, sheep troughs and coops, quantity of hurdle gates, chain, quoller? and plough harness.  A large quantity of seasoned oak and beech timber, felloes? naves and sundry useful wheeler's stuff, 850 16 foot hop poles, quantity of bavins and scares.  All the useful household furniture, plate, linen, glass, china etc, and numerous miscellaneous effects.  The whole will be inserted in catalogues, which may be obtained one week previously to the sale at the inns in the neighbourhood; at Messrs Dray & Co's agricultural implement depot, Old Swan-Lane, Upper Thames Street; at Jewell's city luncheon rooms, 51 Gracechurch Street, London; at the place of sale; and of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham.  The auctioneer begs most respectfully to call the attention of his friends and the public generally to this sale, as the horses were bred upon the premises.  The sale to commence at 12 o'clock punctually, on account of the number of lots.

New House Farm, Ash and Hartley, Kent - Valuable Live and Dead Farming Stock and other effects - by Mr G MANDY, upon the premises, New House Farm, Ash and Hartley, Kent by order of the executors of the late Mr William Treadwell, deceased, on Friday, September 24; Comprising 6 young and active draught horses, 3 excellent milch cows in calf, a handsome 2 year old Durham bull, a strong waggon, bavin carriage, 2 good dung carts, turnrise ploughs, ox and small harrows, scarifier? chain, quoller, and plough harnesses, cleaning machine, ladders, cow cribs, quantity of hurdle gates, bavins and scares, and other effects.  The whole will be inserted in catalogues, which may be obtained one week previously to the sale at the inns in the neighbourhood; at Messrs Dray & Co's agricultural implement depot, Old Swan-Lane, Upper Thames Street; at Jewell's city luncheon rooms, 51 Gracechurch Street, London; at the place of sale; and of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham.     
"Enemy Children"
Daily Herald 17.9.1920

Little 8 year old Anton Marsidoechek had fallen intot he flower-be.  How, nobody could exactly discover, although there was evidence that Anton Plattensteiner had pushed him in.  As with the war, there wre dissentient opinions over causes, but concerning the consequetn material disaster there could be no argument.  Five bright geraniums lay crushed and broken, and obviously it would be weeks before that side of he bed could regain its normal beauty.  This Mr Rose, the gardener, sorrowfuly explained in words of which Anton understood the meaning.   Tears of utter misery flowed over on to his cheeks.  He took the gardener's big brown hand, and chokingly affirmed that he was sehr, sehr traurig.  Mr Rose is a true and tender hearted man, and he remembers that it is for something more thn military victory that his own boy sleeps beneath the flowers in France.

Including the two Antons there are 20 Viennese children at Fairby Grange, where this incident occurred the other day.  In age they range from 8 to 13, and they are now domiciled in England for a stay of at least 6 months, perhaps a year.  All were memebers of the first installment of 500, brought to this country from the wreck of Austria by the Fight the Famine Council, and they are now being cared for under the general relief programme of the Society of Friends.

Fairby Grange itself, situated but 25 miles from London, is such a spot as one would like to see available to disinherited children the world over.  20 acres of garden, orchard, and pasture surround the old oak-timbered homestead.  There is a fern-ringed pond where tadpoles and lizards lurk, and there is also a barn which is readily adaptable for theatrical purposes on rainy days. In the barnyards is found almost every type of domestic animal, while a croquet lawn is hidden in the heart of the garden.  Further away from the house is a field, now marked out for football and sports, and more woods where wild flowers and many berries grow.

To this children's paradise came, ten weeks ago, the score of ragged little waifs who form its present happy tenants.  Let it be said right away that they do not resemble the ghastly specimens of skin and bone one reads about and sees depicted as typical of Austria's youth today.  Those who are chosen to come to England ar eall of pre-war birth, and are also, I believe, selected on the stern but perhaps merciful principle that only such as can be brought back to complete health are woth the trouble of saving.  Now, after their regimen of wholesome food and country air, the children here would be a normal group were not several so pale and undersized.

The attitude of th eolders boys towards the war is interesting.  All are lads of spirit, and of just that age when a childish patriotism might be expected to rule their thoughts on this subject.  Furthermore, there is not one of them without close relatives on the long list of his country's killed.  Yet one finds in these litte scions of a ruined empire a breath of viewpoint sometimes lacking in the victors.  'Austria didn't want the war,' they assert.  'Franz Joseph signed the mobilisation decree against his will.  Aber Kaiser Wilhelm war blutduratig.  He forced us in.  He wanted Germany to rule the world.'  And one boy added - 'Besides we had to fight because Serbia wanted to destroy our empire.  Serbia was to us like Ireland is to England, you know.'

Of more present concern are the stories of the ghastly conditions in Vienna in the closing days of war and since.  One boy tells of a street scene in front of his home a week before the armistice was signed.  A military automobile knocked down and killed a mongrel dog.  Passers-b6 fought for the possession of the carcass, literally tearing the animal to pieces in their anxiety to obtain 'fresh meat' for the family table.  A girl lsot her Persian cat to the same end, and no pets, it seems, were safe from 'the men who went about the streets with sacks.'  Every child at Fairby today is familar with the taste of horse and dog and cat.

One could dwell at length on details of the present reconstructive life these children.  I would like to tell of the sweet old German songs they sing in chorus on their walks; of the painstaking picture of Fairby Grange Walter has drawn and painted in order that his mtoher may have an idea of his English home; of the zeal with which many apply themselves to learning English and French (which last half-a-dozen studied during the war and insist on continuing); of their interest in chess, which several play remarkably well, and football, in which they are also proficient; of the dainty theatre they have fitted up in the barn, where they improvise their own plays.

Just children - sometimes a little mischievous, a little tiresome, a little naughty, but always interesting and appealing - such must be one's final judgement on the quaint community now living on the charity of their conquerors at Fairby Grange.  Just children, but also embryo directors of the fate of Europe, who will never forget the kindness shown the by the English during a crucial formative period of their lives.  Aveerage little mortals they are, and concerning the like of them it was said nearly 2,000 years ago, that 'whosover shall receive this child in My name receiveth Me.'

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