High Halstow by Edward Hasted
NORTHWARD from Hoo lies Halstow,
usually called High Halstow, as well from its high
situation, as to distinguish it from another parish of the
same name, near Upchurch, in this county. This place is
written, in the Textus Rossensis, (fn. 1) Haglestow ,
and in other records, Aglestow .
IT LIES on high ground; the
church, with Halstow street adjoining to it, is situated in
the southern part of the parish, besides which there are
several smaller hamlets, as Clinches-street, Fenn-street,
&c. the northern part, being one half of the parish, is
marshland, bounded by the river Thames; the hills cover the
greatest part of it; the soil and the country is otherwise
of the same sort as that of Hoo, last described, in every
The ROYALTY of the manor or
lordship of Hoo claims over this parish, and as such this
place was antiently part of the possessions of the family of
Bardolf; from which it passed in like manner to Poinz and
Grey; and from them, in process of time, to Edward Villiers,
esq. whose descendant, the Right Hon. George earl of Jersey,
is the present possessor of it.
Reginald de Cobham was
possessed of an estate in this parish, and in the 14th year
of king Edward III. procured a charter of free warren in all
his demesne lands in this parish of Halgesco.
Cobham, lord Cobham, gave an estate in this parish to the
chantry of Cobham, founded by him. (fn. 2)
prioress and convent of Dartford, and the college of All
Saints, in Maidstone likewise possessed lands in this
parish; part of the latter were the marshes of Eastwick and
Spert, which by grant from the crown, came afterwards into
the family of Somers, who possessed them in Charles II.'s
reign. (fn. 3) This family, as appears by their pedigree, in
the Heraldic Visitation of Kent, anno 1619, separated into
two branches, one of which was of St. Margaret's, Rochester;
and the other of this parish of Halstow. They bore for their
arms, Vert, a fesse dancette ermine.
SIR JOHN CROMP gave, by will, in
1615, for poor widows, not receiving alms, a house and land,
vested in the parish, of the annual produce of 8l.
RICHARD WHITE gave by will, in 1622, for the like purpose,
land vested in John Prebble, of the annual produce of 1l.
RICHARD BAYLEY gave by will, in 1643, for the
use of the poor, not receiving alms, land vested in Messrs.
Cart, of the annual produce of 6s. 8d.
within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and
deanry of Rochester. The church is dedicated to St.
In the chancel are the following brafs
plates: Two coats quarterly, 1ft, parted per fess indented;
2d, a chevron between three ewers or flower ports, and
inscription, for William Palke, minister of High Halstow,
obt. 1618, and Anne, his wife; two more for William Groby,
rector, obt. 1398, and William, his father, obt. 1396. In
the church yard, a tomb for William Somer, of this parish,
gent. set up by William his son, in 1607, and repaired by
Richard Somer, his grandson, gent. of Clifford's inn, in
This church was esteemed but as a chapel to the
church of St. Warburgh Hoo, as appears by the instrument of
bishop Laurence, in 1274, by which he confirms the antient
payment of two marcs yearly to the said church; and for the
greater security of it, he decreed, that the parson, who
should in future be instituted in the said chapel by the
prior and convent of Rochester, patrons of the said church,
should, in the presence of him and his successors, swear to
the due performance and payment of that pension. (fn. 4) The
priory of Rochester continued in possession of this pension
till the surrendry of it, into the hands of Henry VIII. in
his 32d year, who the next year settled it, by his dotation
charter, on his new founded dean and chapter of Rochester,
who now possess it.
In 1476, John Mapulton, rector of
Halstow, commenced a suit against Richard Fletcher, rector
of St. Mary's, in the consistory court, before the bishop's
official, for the recovery and establishment of his right to
certain tithes, as rector of the parish of Halstow; viz. a
moiety of all tithes, both great and small, in a district of
land, called Le Meneparishe, the other moiety belonging to
the rector of St. Mary's; and also of certain lands and
tenements, called Eastwyke and Upwyke, as wholly situated
within the parish of Halstow; and of a marsh, called Le
Sperte, lying in Le Meneparishe, of which the rectors of
this parish, his predecessors, were used to take a moiety of
the tithes, the other moiety belonging to the rector of St.
Mary's: all which were that year decreed to the rector of
Halstow, by the definitive sentence of the official.
The rectory is valued in the king's books at 14l. 5s. 7d½.
and the yearly tenths at 1l. 8s. 6¾d. (fn. 5)
1650, this rectory was valued at 100l. per ann. Sir Edward
Hales being patron, and Mr. Benjamin Cromp, incumbent. In
1784, the value of this rectory was 295l. per annum, and the
clear neat profit 230l.
The church of Halstow seems
to have passed as an appendage to the manor of Hoo, through
the several different owners of it, to Sir Edw. Hales, bart.
who was patron of it in 1650. His son, Sir Edw. Hales, bart.
alienated the patronage of it, which after some intermediate
owners was conveyed to Chapman, whose heirs sold it to the
Rev. Richard Fletcher; on whose death in 1763, it became the
property of his son, the Rev. Richard Fletcher, who, in
1786, sold it to the Rev. Robert Burt, who died in 1788; and
his widow, Mrs. Sarah Burt, is now entitled to it.