remuneration to Uie present time, although the gross income is about £400 a
year and ha- in better times reached £500. The ollice has, in fact, always been
considered an honorary one.
comi \m < OLLEGE. 85
The repairs, indeed, were Erom the firsl very heavy; year after
year there is a large expenditure for carpenters' and bricklaj
work and, especially in the earlier years, for tiles, of which many
thousands were bought and put in place, which leads to the
inference that the New College was thrown open to I be poor before
ii had been properly completed.
It, may be well to suy here that the farm ;it Shorne, im« called
Smith's Farm (which tin- first presidents bought of Mr. Q-eorge
Byng of Wrotham for £680 in L598),* remains to tliis day pari of
the possessions of the College; small portions of it have been sold
or given in exchange, but the bulh remains. It \\;is " in the good
Some "i the papers connected with the negotiations between the predidenta
.- 1 ■ i r t .Mr. Byng are preserved with the conveyance and title-deeds. There are
upwards of eighty deeds relating to tin' earlier dealings with some parts ol the
property beginning temp, Edward III There are also the drafts of i he contract,
the recognisanoe, and of the deed <>r bargaiu and sale, by whioh the estate was
oonveyed to the College. This latter bears several corrections and additions mi
.Mi-. Lambarde's o»n handwriting. There are also preserved with the deed
several autograph letters from Sir John Leveson and Mr. Byng, either addressed
to Mr. Lambarde personally, or whioh came to his hands and uric placed by
In in with tin' title-deeds. Here are two of them : —
Snt John Lkvknon TO Mil. SWAYNE.
(Probably the agent lor the Lord Cobham's estates )
Good m Swai ne,
I have promished to pay to M' Byng 800" lor land bought ol' him tor
my l.o. Cobham's bospitall, w h I pray yon to give me leave to trouble you with
the payment of at your oonv 08 oul of the mony remayning in the iron ohest
upon wshp'full ii'cnd .M' Lumbard [sending?] to you that lie hath reoeaved
.\r Byng's obligation, and so «"' my wife's and my hartyest com'endations to
you and M'" Suaync 1 lake my leave.
Hailing, the 7"' of May 1598. v . , ,,,
J Your most assured I' 1 ,
[Addressed] To my very assured lovyng frend M r Will'" Suaync a I his house
in Aldersgate Street.
Mil. liYNG OK WUOTHA.U To Mil. L.V M UA l( UK.
I lend y°S r John Leveson'sl're; upon y 1 first sigh! whereof be bath assured
me payment of 880", being the residue of the price of my land at Shorn, w h 1 praj
y° cause to be payd w'th as much s,.cde as conveniently you may, either i" mj
servant Thomas Hunt, (he bearer hereof, or to my cosin Daniel Sky ir, when
wheather of them ghalbe at best leysure to attend y° for it, and as muoh i hereol
in good gold (according to yo r promise; as you may baue, and I !>• eoh you
think not that Tarn more hasty to lingar yo r money than lam ready a willing
& careful] to satisfle y° in all good dealing touching the oonveigbanoe & ai ur
anoe of my land. God bath at this present sent me n little lamenesseor reither
sicnesse thai I cannol endure a boote, by reason whereof I ihall nol I" 10 -one
al London as I propos'd, Bui I trusl by lu- favor to be with y°a full seveni
at least w'thin the terme, and to nnisne th'assuranoe aoooraing to yo 1 desyre,
86 COBHAM COLLEGE.
times " let at so much as £236 a year, but now the rent is greatly
reduced, and the burden of the tithe root-charge also falls on the
The farms at Edenbridge were sold a few years after they
were acquired. The purchase-money seems to have been kept by
sir John Leveson until lie could find a suitable re-investment, but on
12 March 1615 (12 James I.) he conveyed to trustees for the College
a farm at Wesi Thin-rock and stifford in Essex, with 41 acres
2 roods 6 poles of marsh land called the AVest Marshes. The con-
veyance does not state the price given.
There seems to have been something not quite satisfactory to
the presidents in Sir John Leveson's conduct of this business. The
farm called " Stoyles " at Edenbridge must have been rented at
above its value, for in 1603 they remitted £3 out of the year's
rent to the tenant in regard to the " hard pennyworth " that it was
to him. After its sale Sir John continued to pay an annuity of
£21 a year, to make up the rent to the College, until 1614, wheu
he appears to have purchased the other College property at Eden-
bridge called " Mowses." Then there is an entry of a receipt from
"Sir John Leveson, Knight, and of the Lady Christiane Leveson
his wife, by way of annuity, and in lieweof certaine landes in Essex,
entended to be estated upon the said Colledge, for one year, £61."
The conveyance above referred to was then made, and in the
In the meane t3'nie I send you iuy bond for repaym* of the money primo Junii
next, iind all th'evidences of these lands whereby you may make a draught of
ytf purchase, w 1 ' I wish to be don by the mydst of the next weke ai the furthest.
My father made three sev'all p'chses of the lands, which you may see, whereof
the tir>t two being from Becher are all conteyned in Smith's lease, and the
third being fro' Edmeades* was by my father graunted fro' year to year either to
Smith or his assigne Antony Fisher, for xiij s iiij' 1 p'r annum, the wood excepted
and is retained by me, but is determinable at auy Michaelmas. My desyer is
you should have as good assurance of it fro' me as you can possibly devise, not
encumbring the residue of my landes, wherein I dare repose myself on your
equity and favor, thai von will not think it mete to hinder or discredit me by
urioue & cautelous p vision for another. Given thus iu hast, u" 1 my hartyesl
com'endac'ons to you I commend us both t<> the favor of God in Christ.
W'rothain, 11"' Maij 1598.
Yo™ in all true aflfec'on,
[Addressed] To the righl worshipful] my very assured loving trend M r William
Lambarde, Esquyer,at his chamber in Lincolnslnn. < Jive these
.Mr II. in, Edmeades of Nursted bad sold part of the Shorue property to
Mr. Byng*8 Father a few yean before; bis conveyance is with the title-deeds.
The family have continued to live at Nursted, and their present representative
liajor-Gen. E/dmeades, late B.A., of Nursted Court, a member of our Society.
COBHAM COLLEGE. 87
following year the rents of the two tenants, amounting together fco
£62 16s. 8d., are credited as having been paid to the College ; bul
there are items of later date shewing that there was trouble in
getting the full rents, and that the presidents were of opinion thai
they still had some claim on Sir John, or rather, as he had then
died, on his son and representative, Sir Eichard Leveson. Thus,
on 24 April 1628, at the annual election of the wardens and
assistants of Rochester Bridge, they (and among them the two
presidents, the Earl of Westmorland and Sir George Fane) passed
a resolution to the effect that " they required Sir Eichard to become
teunent to them for the payment of all such monyes as was
appointed by the will of William, Lord Cobhain, until such tyme
as he shall purchase and assure landes of thai valew Eor the use of
the said College." They had, previously to taking this step, beeu
advised by "Mr. Eandolfe, the Counsellor,'' but no good result
seems to have followed. So late as 164-8 the paymaster enters
a charge for himself and his clerk for taking a letter to Sir Richard
in Staffordshire, and afterwards following him to London, thus: —
1647-8 Paid for a horse-hyer of 14 daies into Staffordshire to carry
a letter from the Presidents to Sir Eichard Leveson in
the behalf e of the poore. £2 4*. Oct.
It. paid Henry Nicholls for his journey. 14s.
It. paid for marines meate and horse-meate in the journey.
It. to John Atkins (the paymaster) for five daies being in
London to waite on my Lord of Westmorland when he
went to Sir Eichard Leveson to gett him to make that
rent good in Essex \v h hath so longe been kept from the
but still, Sir Eichard does not appear to have paid anything at all.
Eor many years the revenues of the College were impoverished by
the expense of keeping up the river wall which protected, or should
have protected, these west marshes at Thurrock, and by payments
to the Commissioners of Sewers, and, in consequence, the small
pensions of the inmates of the College had to be reduced ; and
finally, in 1693, the whole of these marshes were overflowed by the
river Thames and irretrievably lost. Some other portions of the
Essex property have been sold, but about 82 acres at W
Thurrock still belong to the College.
Here are some of the items from the payment side of the
88 COBHAJl COLLEGE.
account book (for the first four years the receipts are entered at
the beginning of the book and the disbursements at the eud) : —
1598-99 Item, tor this p'nt booke of receiptes and payements.
It'm for a chest and locke with two severall kayes for the
use of the College. vs.
It'm to Sir Jobn Leveson .... due unto him upon his
accompte for the buildinge of the same Colledge.
vli. xiijs. viijr/.
1599-1600 Payd more to him (John Clement) .... for worke in
imikinge the pewes for the poore people in Cobham
more to him for two lockes for the iron doore. xs. vjd.
for two payer of rydes for tbe great gate and the Hall
for xxiij cognusances (Lyons)* for the poore theare to
w r eare unto Zelous Whyte. iiijs. viijJ.
for two newe lockes for the outward door towardes the
Church, and the outward gate next the gardeins. vijs.
1600-1 .... for a locke for the middle gate of the Colledge. ijs. vjd.
1601-2 .... for makinge of the two great gates for the woodyard
and setting up another gate going into the gardein of
William Meares, one of the Almsmen. vjs. viij</.
1602-3 Paid M r Mudde the resident Minister at Cobham for his
paines in instructinge of the said poore people in the
principles of Religion for one whole yeaer now ended.
paid Christopher Stace .... for newe rippinge of some
part of the fore syde of the Colledge and mendinge of
the walles and Chymneys at xvid. p. diem. xvij.v. [\d.
paid him for his labourer for 13 daics @ x<l. p. diem. xs. \<l.
paid for an hand bell to call the said poore people to
morning and evening prayer. iiijs. \i</.
paid Anthonie Fisher of Shorne (the College tenant),
disbursed by him in a sute against the Vicar of Shorne
* These were square brass badges, :! inches ) • \ '2,\ inches, with the Brooke
arms '" Gules, on a chevron or, three lions passant Bable) engraved thereon, and
fitted with holes on each of the four si<ies so that they could he sewn on to the
■ ■lot h of the pensioner's garments, They were worn out or lost, ami in L693
someone, probably Bir Joseph Williamson, gavea new Bet, some of which are
now in existence; they have engraved on them, below the arms, "New .Coll:
Cobham . 1698." Only one lion i- -hewn on the chevron.
COBIlAM COLLEGE. B9
for certaiDe Tyth by him challenged (as it is thought)
wrongfullie. ij*. v\d.
L603-4 Paid Eor the slytting of a peece of Oak Eor the partic'on
paid for a payre of rydes Eor the doore of the partic'on. xvid.
1001-5 Paid .... for making and setting up of pales and rayls in
the backyarde and a new gate into the entraunce of the
garden plotted to the high-waye. ij*. viiirf.
[This no doubl refers to the land allotted to the
20 pensioners for gardens, and the gate is that into
the road hy Cobhambury.]
1606-7 Paid John Dewling for mendinge of the rafters and
" entertayre " of the Porche and laying of a oewe
joiste in the Hall flower. xiiijaf.
,, for horse liyer twice to the College in the plague tyine
to take order for their keepinge in the Colledge and
provydiuge of victuales to be brought them. ij*.
1609-10 It'mto John Hott for halfealoadeof tymberforthemakinge
of a pent-house in the South East angleof theCourt.* iiijs.
1613-4 To Water carriage of 4,500 plame tyles (and other
materials) to " Seaven Sisters. "t vs.
1615-6 To John London 3° ffeb 1 ' 1615 for Carpenters worke on the
Porch of the Sowth syde of the Colledgc, new reapinge
of the same in the grownd cells, punchions, posies.
shoares and rafters. vij*.
1617-N Paid .... for two tonnes of Oaken tymber for repayringe
of the ground celles of the South syde of Colledgc Hall
at xis. the Tonne. xw.s.
,, 200 of oaken boarde for the Hall flower, being over
the seller and rotteu. vij*.
161S-9 Paid to John Salmon reader to the said poore Ins fee for
one whole year begon 25 Maii 1618. xxs.
[The payment of 13s. Id. to the Minister was last
made to Mr. Mudde in 1611. and the payment of this
20s. to one of the pensioners as "reader" takes it-
place for some years, i.e., until 1630.]
* In Mr. Thorpe's view of the College, in Bibliotheca Topographica, taken
a in nit 1770, a pent house is shewn on the south-west corner of the quadrangle, so
probably there wore two.
f There arc many entries for carriage to " Seven Sisters at Cuxton." It
must have been well known then, bul I cannot now trace the name; probabrj
90 COBHAM COLLEGE.
1621-2 Item paid to Boatson Hermis of Stroud for a Bell for the
Colledge of Cobhani. viijs.
Item for navies to hang the Bell. xijrf.
Item .... for the makinge of a new pentice over the West
doore in the College. vs.
Item to John Rockwell for 14 deal bords to lay a floor in
the pay house at Cohham. xiiijr/.
Item for a locke and a keye for the deske in the Haule.
1623-4 Item for a square table for the College and a carpett. vis.
1621-5 Paid for M r Cozens (to advise about repairs) his diner at
Cobham and for my own. xvjd.
„ for 12 new pannells for the Haule. xiid.
,, for my horse hier with the ploiner of Rochester to
look on the pypes when the water was last lost. xvid.
„ for towardes mendynge of the pypes and repayringe
of the conditt (conduit). xxd.
1629-30 Paid to Mr. Trigge the Minister of Cobham for reedinge
of prayers to the poare. xxs.
1630-1 Paid to John Vidgeon the joyner for a table for the poore
to receive the Communion, to stand in the Haule of the
Colledge, and a Chayer (Chair) to the same, xiijs. iiij(/.
Paid Bricklayer for xix daies about tyling at the Colledge
.... and makinge of three new ovens a ijs. and viijs.
a day for him, and his labourer. Is. viip/.
Paid to Mr. Trigge the Minister for his paynes in instructing
of the poore for this year alowed by the Presidents.* x\s.
1632-3 Paid to Nathaniell Pranke for making of anewseate in the
Square Courte of the College, he iindinge the stuff, xxs.
„ for cullering the bench and seat. ivs.
1633-4 „ alowance for gold that was to light. xxd.
1634-5 Paid to Mr. Philpotte for a quarte of wine when Sir John
Hales (one of the Presidents) went to Cobham College.
x v i </.
L636-7 Paid Nathaniel] Franke . . . . I'M' Betting up of the Portch
and bourding p'te of Richard Russell's chamber, t .wis.
' Mr. Trigge b name does doI appear in Hasted in liis list of the Incumbents.
He continued i<> receive the i"-. yearly until L635, when a reader was again
t This porch must, I think, have stood mi the; north side of the College, at
tlir gate leading into the churchyard. Russell occupied the Cuxton house
u Inch adjoins that gateway
COBHAM COLLEGE. 91
L642-3 .Mowed Richard Clerke For the payments due upon the
An of 6400,000. \li.
L645-6 Paid for horse-byer to Maydston to gel a letter from the
Comittie to the Comittie in Essex to getl the taxes taken
of from the lands that belonge to the Colledge. iij*. vid.
1G-K.J-7 Item paid for a horse-hyer for two dayes when I went to
give notice to the several] parishes of the order that
was made by the Presidents, etc.* vs.
1052-3 Paid and alowed for the taxes at Michaelmas L652 and ....
£12 19*. oV.f
ll).")9-60 Paid a man for shoaring up y 1 ' Porch. Is. 6d.
lt>()L-2 Paid for two horse hyers at two sev'all tymes to Cobliam
when y fl Commissioners for Charitable uses sett their
about tbe Poores business.^ 6*. 8d.
Paid Mr. Cumber, Minister of Cobham, for instructing y c
poore of the College one whole yeare according to the
ordinance, etc.§ 13s. 4ed.
K5S7-S Paid Goodman Fenner for his last year's sallary (the
appointment of one of the parishioners as overseer, or
"informer," continued for many years). 5s. Od.
1688-9 Mem" 1 .— All the ffloure of the Hall and the Skrene and
whiting id' it. made good at the only charge of Sir .Joseph
Williamson of Cobham Hall, Kii'. this yeare.
1689-90 Mem" 1 . — All the bricks, tiles, lynie, and sand that were
used for the repaire of the College this year were given
Freely by Sir Joseph Williamson of Cobham Hall, Kn'.
L693-4 Paid for horse hier and Boat-hier when I went into Kssex
with sum of the Poore of Cobham to certifie them that
their land was under water. 7s. Od.
* The poor had only seven months' pension this year. The parishes from
which i hey came were still liable tor their support uuder the circumstances.
f Arabie figures were first used in this account bonk, instead of Roman, in
L645; after L652 they are invariably used.
X Since L646 to L656 the pensions ha 1 been paid irregularly, or in parf
only, and sometimes not at all. The poor bad appealed to the Commissioners.
From 165!) the lull twelve payments of £6 L3s. Id. had been resumed, but
there was perhaps a feeling of resentment against the presidents, who for some
years before the Restoration had been of the Puritan party. In the Bridge
election for L661 an entirely new Inly was chosen.
$ From lfr-SJ (when the Rev Trigg last received this fee) reader- were
appointed and paid 40s. a year. They were, apparent!}', chosen from the pen-
sioners, and the entries of such payments continue until 1645; then they stop,
and no payment is entered until the year lilt!:* : after this date the minister or
curate of Cobham is found to be in receipt of the fee almost continuously until
1850. In 1810 the fee was increased to CI Us. Sd., and mi continued until 1850.
92 COB It AM COLLEGE.
1694-5 Paid for horse hire and Boat hire and other expences when
I went to Kainhara in Essex, being sumoned about the
dround land there. 10s. Od.
Paid for expences and charges five daies in London to gitt
an Act of Parliament to drain the land in Essex that is
now under water. £1 10s. Od.
1695-6 Paid John Wellard for a box to put forfeitures in. 5s. Od.
The second volume of the College accounts extends from 1702
to 1843 ; the entries, however, are greatly curtailed and give few
particulars. In 1701-5 there is an allowance to the tenant of the
farm at JShorne of £16 fur the damage done to his buildings by the
great storm of 1703 (the storm which Addison sang of, "Such as,
of late, o'er pale Britannia passed "), " towards his charge of the
repairing his house and barn; the late greate and dredfull storme
of wind did him."
In the account for 1733-4, one of the years when Dr. Thorpe was
oue of the presidents, there appear these two items relating to matters
which must have had his special care and are referred to above : —
By paid Mr. John Colson for printing Rules and ordinances, etc.,
for Cobham College. £9 6s. Gd.
Paid James Whigley for two silver seals. £4 18s. Od.
In the year 1761-2 Edward Hasted was one of the presidents
and signs the account book, so that three well-known Kentish anti-
quaries at least — William Lambarde, Dr. Thorpe, and Hasted —
have all served on the Trust; indeed, most if not all the principal
landowners for this part of the county for the last three centuries
and a half have taken a share in the management of the College.
When the revenues were still suffering from the loss of the
land in Essex and the presidents had to defend themselves from
the complaints of the poor whose pensions were not paid, it was
finally arranged that for the first year after election they should
have no payment, and gradually by the savings so effected and
from the increase in the rents the finances were brought to a better
condition. In L820 the monthly payment had been increased from
66 13s. 4d. to £20, but in 1821 it is recorded that "the income
of the Charity having been much reduced by the reduction in
value of all agricultural produce, etc., the sum of £16 is to be
paid in future per month in lieu of £20." In 1843 it had risen
agaiu to £18; afterwards, iu lsso, it got so high as £34 13s. 4d.,
but is, at the presenl day, again reduced to £27 a mouth, and even
that is now maintained with difficulty.
COBIIAM COLLEGE. ( J3
APPENDIX No. 1.
Translation of the Peed of Reconveyance to John, Lord Cobham,
S FehUVAUY I RlCHABD II.
To all the faithful in Chrisl to whom this presenl writing indented shall come
Reginald de Coheham late parson of the church of Couling and William de
II alden Greeting in the Lord. Whereas sir John de Coin ■ham lord of Coheham
on .Monday next alter the Feasi "i S 1 Luke the Evangelisl in the fortieth year of
the reign of the Lord Edward [ate KniL r of Englan d grandfather of the now lord
king hv his certain deed enfeoffed us together with Sir Thomas de Ludelowe
knighl and John de Idelegh nov deceased of the manor of Coheham with
appurtenances and also of all lands and tenements meadows marshes and rent-
with appurtenances which on the aforesaid Monday he obtained in the Tills of
Coheham Schome Coklestone Lodesdon Mepbam Nutstede Northflete Clive
Regham Strode Frendesbery Byerling Bastmalling and Leybourne Upcherche
Ronham and Iwade Ealghesto and the Blessed Mary in Hoo and of the wood
called Clerhegge in the vill of Little Pekham next Tonehrigge and of the re\< r-
-ions of the manor of Staupete in the Isle of Schepeye and of live marks of
animal rent with appurtenances coming from the manor of Beugebery in Thorn-
ham wbioh Agnes who was the wife of Sir Roger de Northwode knight held for
the term of her life of the inheritance of the same Sir John and which by virtue
of the assignment aforesaid should remain to us and our heirs after the death of
the aforenamed Agnes to hold to us and our heirs in fee simple without any con-
dition and that afterwards by his certain other deed indented under date of
Monday nexl after the feasi of S' Luke the Evangelist in the forty first year of
the reign of the said Lord Edward late Kintr of England reciting the feoffment
and grant aforesaid of the manor lands tenements marshes wood reversions and
rents aforesaid with appurtenances in the vills aforesaid as is aforesaid he ratified
our estate aforesaid in the premises and accepted the manor lands tenements
rents and services wood and mar-lie- aforesaid in the towns aforesaid and the
reversions with appurtenances of us to hold only at our will wholly renouncing
any other estate in the same as in the aforesaid deeds enrolled on the dorse of
the close of the Chancery of the Lord the King Richard in the month of
December in the fourth year of his reign more fully is contained. Of which
same lands and tenements with appurtenances abovesaid we in the meantime
have granted, that is to say, one messuage eighteen acres of land and four acres
of marsh called Potemannes and the marshes called Bolehanie and Swan pole
with appurtenances in the vill of Schorne twelve acres of land late of Robert le
Ram thirty two acres of marsh called Botelereschope and Morlakemeede a
hundred and twenty acres of marsh called Pykeworth in the vill of Clyue ten
acres two day works and half a day work of land with appurtenances in the vill
of Coulyng and thirty acres half an acre and three daywork of land with
appurtenances in the vill of Frei.desbery and the third part of two hundred
acres of marsh called Chattemerssh w ith the reversion of two parts of the afore-
said two hundred acres of the same marsh with appurtenances in the vills of
\)\ COBIIAM COLLEGE.
Upcherche Renharu and Iwade and four acres of meadow with appurtenances in
the villa of Berlyng called Dykedemede and half an acre of land and twelve acres
of wool with appurtenances called Readwode in the vill of Luddesdon and one
hundred acres of wood with appurtenances called Clerhegge in the vill of Little
l'ekhain and certain other parcels of land and tenements aforesaid with appurten-
ances in the vills aforesaid, to tlie master ami chaplains of the chantr}' of Cobe-
ham and their successors by divers our deeds, to he possessed for all time, the
possession of the aforesaid lord John in the residue of the tenements having been