Thomas Underhill was the tenant of Hartley Court from 1718 to 1765. His father's will mentions that he assisted in the purchase.
"In the name of God Amen. I John Underhill of Faukham in the county of Kent, yeoman, being sick and weak in body, but of sound and disposing mind and memory (thanks and praise be given to Almighty God for the same), do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say:
First and most prinicpally I do with all humility assign up my poor and immortal soul to the hands of Almighty God, my Creator, hoping through the merits and passion of my Redeemer Jesus Christ, to have and receive life in his kingdom of Glory, and body I commit to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executor hereafter named.
And as for the disposition of all such worldly estate as it had pleased God of his benevolent goodness to bestow upon me, I give and dispose of the same as followeth:"
To "loving wife" Mary - Woodland called Claypitt Wood, Farningham Wood, High Wood, and Hawknest Wood, held on a lease granted by Sir Philip Boteler baronet by lease dated 20 January 1697 at a rent of £27.10.0.
To "loving son" John - House where he now lives called "Fawkham Court Lodge" and several arable lands, meadows. pastures and woods, held under lease dated 3 December 1701 by Sir Philip Boteler, for 24 years from 29 September 1701 at a yearly rent of £70. Also all household stuff at his house, and grain "both in the straw and threshed either in the barns or elsewhere about my said farm in Faukeham", also all horses, mares, colts, cows, calves, hogs, pigs, sheep, lambs, seeds sown, wood and all materials of husbandry. Provided he pay Mary £100 within 3 months. He also appoints a room in his house "furnished with necessaries" for Mary.
"Item: whereas I have agreed to buy of John Welch, the stock and household goods, being in and upon a certain messuage and farm, called Hartley Court Lodge Farm, late in the possession of Edward Welch deceased, and to lay down the money for the same to and for the use of my son Thomas Underhill, which money the said Thomas Underhill was to have repaid again unto me. And whereas I have now paid until the said John Welch the sum of £40 in part of the same money, and my said son Thomas is indebted unto me in the further sum of £20 [...]. Now I do hereby forgive, release and discharge my said son Thomas of and from the payment of the said sums of forty pounds and twenty pounds so due to me as aforesaid, and do now appoint and order that my executors hereafter named do [...] request costs and charges of my said son Thomas, sign, seal and duly execute a legal discharge or release for the sum [...] my said son Thomas, his executors or administrators as bear [...] and keep indemnified my said executors of and from the payment of any further sum or sums of money for the said goods and stock so bought of the said John Welch as aforesaid. And upon further condition I do desire and appoint that my executors hereafter or either of them, will not pretend to have or claim any benefit, advantage of or by certain articles of agreement, made the eighth day of this instant February made between William Taylor and me, for a lease of the said farm called Hartley Court Lodge Farm, otherwise than for the interest of my said son Thomas, whom I assigned the same".
To sons John and Thomas - all his messuages and lands, as tenants in common.
To wife Mary and son John - residue of his estate.to be equally divided between them. They to be joint executors. Gifts to Mary to be void if she claims dower.
Dated 24 February 1717/8.
John Underhill (X)
Witnesses:Thomas Middleton (X); Francis Treadwell (X); John Tasker (S)
Proved at London 17 March 1717/8.
Will of Mary Underhill of Fawkham (1729)
Reference: TNA PROB11/631 sig 215
Dated 21 March 1728.
To her loving son Thomas Underhill of Hartley, farmer: 8 pairs of hempen and flaxen sheets, 1 dozen of hempen napkins, 2 silver spoons, 1 old piece of broad gold worth 23/-; her wearing apparel, both woollen and linen; and "the gold ring I now wear on my finger being with a double posy".
To daughter in law Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas and Mary their daughter: a gold ring each and the linen not given to Thomas.
To Thomas: £30
To son John: her wedding ring and to his wife Susanna: a gold ring. And to John all the right she has to underwood, late used by her husband John Underhill. John to be executor and to get remainder of her personal estate.
Proved 7 July 1729
Will of Thomas Underhill of Hartley, yeoman (1765)
Reference: CKS DRa/PW14
"I do assign my poor and immortal soul into the hands of Almighty God, my creator, hoping by the meritorious death and passion of my dear Redeemer Jesus Christ to have and receive free pardon and forgiveness for all my sins and transgressions".
Body to be buried at the discretion of executrix.
To his "loving wife" Elizabeth - all money, securities, household goods and farm stock and all personal goods. She is to be executrix.
(S) Thomas Underhill
Witnesses: (X) Edward Thorpe; (X) Elen Venner
Dated: 17 January 1752
Proved: 1 November 1765
Will of Elizabeth Underhill (1775)
reference: PROB11/10008 sig 209
Late of "Harley" but now of Northfleet Green in Kent.
Wishes to be buried in Hartley Churchyard as near to her husband's grave as possible.
To her daughter Mary Venner, widow: £20, all wearing apparel, linen, wood, silk and gold wedding ring.
To grandson John Venner: £10
To grandson Thomas Venner: £10
To grandson Richard Venner: £10
To granddaughter Eleanor Russell, wife of Edward Russell of Stone, Kent: the remainder of her estate.