The Universal British Directory 1790

1790 Directory

Extracts for the County of Kent

Source: The Universal British Directory submitted by Peter Stuart.

Appledore is situated on the south side of the county, nine mile west from New Romney, and 54 from London, in the direct road from Tenterden, on the banks of the River Rother. It had anciently a market, which has long be disused, but has a fair in July. Here is a court leet, which extends itself over the Town Borough and Horse borough. It is said, the sea flowed up formerly as far as the town.

BUTLER, Abraham, Esq., (Freeman)

RICE, Rev.

ADAMS, Thomas, Glazier, (Freeman)
BOON, James, Grazier, (Freeman)
BOON, John, Grazier, (Freeman)
BOON, Richard, Grazier & Farmer, (Freeman)
BOON, William, Grazier & Farmer, (Freeman)
BOSDEN, John, Blacksmith
BROWN, William, Carpenter
EVE, John, Grazier (Freeman)
GEERING, William, Grazier & Farmer, (Freeman)
HEDGER, Daniel, Sadler
HENLEY, Samuel, Grazier, (Freeman)
HODGES, Joseph, Grazier, (Freeman)
HOLLONS, Thomas, Taylor & Draper
MUNK, George, Grazier (Freeman)
MUNK, Jeffery (sen), Grazier (Freeman)
MUNK, Jeffrey (jun), Grazier (Freeman)
MUNK, John, Carpenter
MUNK, John, Grazier (Freeman)
PALMER, Matthew, Mason, (Freeman)
PAYNE, Edward, Peruke Maker
PAYNE, William, (sen) Boot & Shoe Maker (Freeman)
PAYNE, William, Boot & Shoe Maker
PECKHAM, William, Shopkeeper
RELSE, Joseph, Shopkeeper
RUSSEL, Thomas, Victualler  (Freeman)
SRTICKLAN, William, (jun) Grazier
SRTICKLAN, William, (sen) Grazier
STRICKLAN, Edward, Grazier
TOLHURST, William, Taylor & Draper
WICKHAMS, Edward, Butcher


The town of Ashford is governed by a constable of its own; the rest of the parish lies in the Hundred of Chart and Longbridge. It stands on a great road, upon the River Stour. It is a pretty well built market town with several genteel families in it. The church is large and formally collegiate; they hold pleas for any thing not exceeding twenty marks. It has a free grammar school founded by the KATCHBULL family; Rev. Charles STODART, master, also, a good English school, in high repute; Mr ALDERSON, master. A boarding school for young ladies kept by Miss SMITH. A monthly sitting of justices held the first Saturday each month, Mr Anthony INGLES, clerk. A stock market the first Tuesday in every month, for all sorts of fat and lean stock, which is plentifully supplied; also, a market on Saturdays for buying and selling of corn. Here are three fairs in the year on the 17th May, 9th of September and 23rd October, for all sorts of cattle. The post arrives by way of Maidstone from London, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, at noon and returns the same day at three o’clock. Stephen KEMSLEY, post master. William BROWN & son’s machines sets out from Ashford to the Fleece, Canterbury, every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday morning at seven, and returns at seven o’clock the same evening, fare 3 shillings, every Tuesday at 7 o’clock through Hythe to the Folkestone Arms Inn, Folkestone, and returns the same evening, fare 3s 6d, every Wednesday morning during the winter a 8 o’clock, to the Star Inn, Maidstone, where they meet the London Coaches, which go to the Blossoms Inn, Lawrence Lane, Cheapside and returns the next day a 3 o’clock; fare to Maidstone, 6 shillings. In the summer they set off at 5 o’clock and return the same evening; every Friday morning a 5 o’clock to Ospringe to meet the Canterbury coaches that go to London, and wait their return in the afternoon; fare to Ospringe, 3s 6d. William MATES stage coach comes in from Romney through Hythe every Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock, and returns on Saturday morning at 7 the same way; carries parcels and passengers. Three common stage wagons go twice or three times a week to Faversham, to bring coals and goods that come by the hoys from London. Ashford is remarkable for being well sullied with good fish of most kinds. The house of industry here is well worth the attention of curious traveller; and, too much praise cannot be given to the guardians of the poor for their unwearied attention and indefatigable perseverance in improving the management of the house and giving suitable employment to the persons within, according to their several abilities. A Sunday school is well supported by subscription under the management of the ladies. Near this town is a ancient seat of the TUSRON family called Hothfield, which is large, but situated in a low marshy soil, which renders it unhealthy, and not far from hence is Eastwell, the house and very extensive park of the Earl of Winchelsea.

The following are the principal inhabitants

BALDCOCK, John, (Freeman)
BANKS, James, (Freeman)
BILLINGTON, John, (Freeman)
BLECHYDEN, Aylmer, (Freeman)
BUSHELL, William, (Freeman)
DOBSON, Thomas, (Freeman)
FARBRACE, Henry, (Freeman)
FLINT, James, (Freeman)
GREENSTREET, Charles, (Freeman)
JEMMETT, William, (Freeman)
MASCALL, John, (Freeman)
MASCALL, Robert, Esq. (Freeman)
NORWOOD, Francis (Freeman)
PARSON, Joseph, Esq.
PATTERSON, Josias, Esq., (Freeman)
PAYLER, William T. Esq. (Freeman)
RADLEY, William, Esq., (Freeman)
ROLFE, Nicholas, (Freeman)
RUTTON, Isaac, Esq., Justice of the Peace, (Freeman)
SWIFT, Solomon, (Freeman)
TRITTON, John, (Freeman)
WHITFIELD, Lewis, (Freeman)

ANDREWS Rev. Dr. (Freeman)
BOND, James, Rev. Vicar, (Freeman)
GORSSE, J.A. Teacher of French, (Freeman)
HAWKINS, Philip, Rev. (Freeman)
NORWOOD, Edward, Rev. (Freeman)
STODDART, C. Rev. Boarding School, (Freeman)

ANDREWS, John, Druggist
FAGG, Felix, Surgeon, (Freeman)
HATTENDEN, John, Surgeon & Man Midwife, (Freeman)
NORWOOD, John, Surgeon, (Freeman)
THORN, Bert, Surgeon, (Freeman)

INGLES, Anthony, Attorney, (Freeman)
JEMMETT, George, Attorney, (Freeman)

ADDER, William, Bricklayer
ALDERSON, James, Schoolmaster
ALLEN, Thomas, Taylor & Hatter
ALLEN, William, Fellmonger, (Freeman)
APSLEY, Arthur, Carpenter
AUSTIN, John, Carpenter, (Freeman)
AUSTIN, John, Sheriffs Bailiff, (Freeman)
BACK, William, Baker
BAKER, Benjamin, Glazier, (Freeman)
BAKER, Charles, Carpenter, (Freeman)
BARKER, Thomas, Woolbuyer, (Freeman)
BARRITT, Richard, Taylor & Salesman, (Freeman)
BAYLY, John, Bookseller & Stationer
BAYLY, Sam, Chandler and Soap Boiler
BENNITT, Stephen, Painter
BLUNDELL, Jos. Cyder Merchant, (Freeman)
BOURNE, Lifford, Cordwainer, (Freeman)
BROOK, John, Linen Draper
BROWN, William & Son, Coach Masters, (Freeman)
BUCKWORTH, J.B., Wine Merchant, (Freeman)
CARRICK, William, Bricklayer
CHILD, Michael, Miller, (Freeman)
CLINCH, Stephen, Cordwainer
COLTIKEN, Elizabeth, Milliner
COO, Thomas, Currier
CORBYN, Keer, Taylor
CORNFORD, William, Brewer
CREED, Henry, Woollen Draper and Silk Mercer, (Freeman)
CROMWELL, Thomas, Baptist Preacher
CROUCH, William, Victualler,
DAWSON & EVANS, Tinman & Braziers, (Freeman)
DAWSON, Joshua, Baker, (Freeman)
DUNN, John, Shoe Maker
ELLIOT, William, Victualler
EVANS, Richard, Carpenter, (Freeman)
EVES, Thomas, Carpenter, (Freeman)
FAIRBRASS, Daniel, Cooper
FELLOWS, Thomas, Victualler
FILMER, Comfort, Farmer
FILMER, Thomas, Farmer
FLINT, Samuel, Farmer & Grazier, (Freeman)
FLINT, Thomas, Ironmonger & Corn Chandler
FLINT, William, Watchmaker, (Freeman)
GARRETT, Adnett, Farmer, (Freeman)
GODFREY, John, Huckster
GREENHILL, Richard, Tanner, (Freeman)
HADLOW, Thomas, Gardener, (Freeman)
HAMMOND, Richard, Cabinet Maker
HAYWARD, William, Butcher
HEAD, James, Farmer, (Freeman)
HILL, Philip, Millwright
HILLS, Anthony, Butcher
HILLS, John (sen) Farmer
HILLS, John, Carrier
HILLS, Stephen, Butcher
HONISS, Edward, Architect Mason, (Freeman)
HOPE, John, Carpenter, (Freeman)
HOPKINS, Henry, Cordwainer
HORTON, John, Maltster, (Freeman)
HUCKSTEP, Charles, Hair dresser
HUNT & ROGERS, Drapers
JACOB, James, Taylor, (Freeman)
JENNINGS, James, Hair Dresser, (Freeman)
JOHNSON, Henry, Basket Maker
JOHNSON, John, Basket Maker
JOHNSON, Thomas, Butcher
JOY, Thomas, Bricklayer, (Freeman)
KNOTT, George, Blacksmith & Farrier
LAKE, Thomas, Glazier & Painter
LAMPARD, John, Breechers Maker
LEWIS, Thomas, Cordwainer
LISHLY, Thomas, Blacksmith
MACE, Joseph, Grazier, (Freeman)
MAPLESDEN, Richard, Wheeler
MARSH, John, Baker
MASCALL, John, Land Surveyor, (Freeman)
MATE, William, Saddler
MATSON, William, Miller & Baker, (Freeman)
MEERS, Nicholas, Gardener
MILLER, Henry, Cordwainer
NICKALLS, Dan, Draper & Salesman
NORLEY, John, Victualler, (Freeman)
OXLEY, Walter, Farmer
PAIGE, Francis, Woolcomber
PARKS, Thomas, Butcher
PARNHAM, Thomas, Breeches Maker
PART, John, Shoe Maker
PAYNE & WALTER, Grocers, Tea Dealers, & Cheesemongers, (Freemen)
PETTIT, Ann, Milliner
PEVERETT, Simon, Victualler
PHILLIPS, William, Cordwainer
PIKE, Edward, Stationer, (Freeman)
POPE, William, Blacksmith
POWSEY, Thomas, Sadler &Harness Maker
QUIHAMPTON, John, Farmer & Grazier
RABSAN, Richard, Hardware-man
RABSAN, Richard, Hatter
RABSAN, William, Stay Maker
RACK, John, Butcher, (Freeman)
RATCLIFF, Thomas, Victualler
READER, John, Cordwainer, (Freeman)
REEVE, Ambrose, Turner, (Freeman)
ROBINSON, George, Victualler, (Freeman)
ROBINSON, H., Grocer & Tea Dealer, (Freeman)
ROOTS, Richard, Huckster
SAMPSON, John, Leatherseller
SAMPSON, Thomas, Upholsterer
SCOTT, John, Linen Draper
SCOTT, John, Tallow Chandler & Grocer
SMITHS Miss, Boarding School for Girls
SPARROW, Joseph, Gardener
STROUD, Henry, Cordwainer
STUART, John, Farmer
SUTTON, Thomas, Maltster, (Freeman)
SWEETLOVE, William, Farmer
TOMSET, Henry, Farmer
TOURNEYS, J. & S. Grocers, (Freeman)
TRICE, Henry, Huckster
TRITTON, Robert, Maltster, (Freeman)
TUNBRIDGE, Sarah, Victualler
VIRRELL, John, Corn Chandler, (Freeman)
WALL, William, Grazier, (Freeman)
WALTER, George, Chandler, (Freeman)
WANSTALL, John, Shoe Maker
WANSTALL, Mark, Cordwainer
WANSTALL, Thomas, Cooper, (Freeman)
WARNER, William, Taylor & Stay Maker
WATERMAN, William, Maltster, (Freeman)
WATERS, John, Farmer
WEBB, William, Hatter
WELLER, John, Peruke Maker
WESTON, Thomas, Farmer
WHITFIELD, Francis, Grazier
WHOOLLEY, Thomas, Farmer
WILKES, Thomas, Grazier
WRIGHT, John, Farmer


Stands on the river Medway, four miles to the north of Maidstone, six miles south of Rochester, and thirty two from London. The parish is divided by the river. The church is a venerable structure. The north part, where the church stands, is an ancient demesne and has a constable of itself. The forth part, which contains the manors of Preston and Milhale, was given by King Henry I to the church of Rochester. Here is a hospital for six poor people, each to be allowed ten shilling a year; also a charity school, and a fair on the 29th June.


Is situated on the River Ravensbourne in the road from London to Tonbridge. The Bishop of Rochester has a palace at a little distance from the town where is a mineral spring, the water of which has been found to have the same qualities as that at Tonbridge. King Edgar gave the manor in the year 700 to the Bishop of Rochester. Here is also a college, erected by Bishop WARNER, in the reign of King Charles II for twenty poor clergymen’s widows, with an allowance of 20l a year and 50l a year to the Chaplin. This was the first endowment of the kind ever established in England. The munificence of the late Rev. Mr HETHERINGTON, who, left 500l to this college, and of the late Bishop PEARCE who left 500l to it has enabled the trustees to augment the allowance to the widows to 30l per annum and that of the Chaplin to 60l The church is an old structure. Here is a workhouse erected in 1731. There is a market on Thursdays and two fairs annually, on February 14th and August 5th. The post comes in 10 every night and returns immediately. There ar four stage coaches for London and two for Westminster; the Westminster coaches set out from Bromley at 7 in the morning to the Mitre & Dove, in Bridge Street, Westminster and return at 12; set out again from Bromley in the afternoon at 4, and return at 9 in the evening. The City coaches set out from Bromley every morning at 9 to the Cross Keys and Spread Eagle inns, Grace Street, Fleet and return the same evening at 7. Two errand carts go daily to the Kings Head Southwark. Here are three good inns in the town, the principal one The Bell, kept by Mr James WILSON Bromley is five miles west of St Mary Cray, 14 miles east of Sevenoaks, 1q2 miles east of Westerham, 20 East of Maidstone, 6 South of Croydon in Surrey and 10 S.S.E. of London.

The following are the principal inhabitants


BOOTH, John, Esq. (Freeman)
BOOTH, Robert, Esq. (Freeman)
BUNN, Esq.
BURROW, Robert, Esq. (Freeman)
COX, Joseph, Esq.
DODSLEY, J. Esq. (Freeman)
DUFFIN, William, Esq. (Freeman) Wigmore
FIRTH, Samuel, Esq.
HARRISON, Andrew, Esq. (Freeman) Wigmore
HARRISON, John, Esq. (Freeman)  Wigmore
JOHNSON, Esq. (Freeman)
NEWNHAM, Thomas, Esq. (Freeman)
NORMAN, George, Esq. (Freeman)
RHODES, Major, Esq. (Freeman)
RICHARDS, Samuel, Esq. (Freeman)
SANDERS, Esq. (Southborough)
SCOTT, Major, M.P.  (Freeman)
THELHRSON, Peter, Esq. (Freeman)
TWADDLE, Esq. (Freeman) Plaistow
WELLS, John, Esq. (Freeman)
WELLS, William, Esq. (Freeman)

FARRAND, Rev. (Freeman)
PARTRIDGE, Rev. (Freeman)
PRICE, Rev. Minister of Bromley College
SMITH, Henry, Rev. Curate
THOMAS, John, Right Rev. Dr. Bishop of Rochester (Freeman)

CHILD, William, Surgeon & Apothecary
READ, Henry, Surgeon & Apothecary

BROWN, Attorney
HOLDING, Enoch, Attorney

ADAMS, Samuel, Watch Maker
ALEXANDER, Nicholas, Butcher, (Freeman)
ALSWORTH, Leonard, Grocer, (Freeman)
ATHERSOLD, Thomas, Shoe Maker
BATH, James, Farrier
BATTERSBEA, William, Brasier
BOOTH & RAWES, Makers of the Academy, (Freemen)
CHAPMAN, Richard, Wheelwright
CORBETT, Edward, Stone Mason
CORKER, Elias, Confectioner
DODSON, Henry, Linen Draper
DUNN, John, Upholsterer
EDNEY, Henry, Blacksmith
HARRIOT, John, Innkeeper
HUGHES & CO, Ironmongers
LASCOE, William, Sadler & Coach Harness Maker (Freeman)
LAVENDER, William, Writing Master
MAY, Edward, Baker, (Freeman)
MAY, William, Brandy Dealer, (Freeman)
NEEDHAM, Thomas, Coach Maker
PAGE, George, Bricklayer, (Freeman)
PIPPETT, John, Hair Dresser, (Freeman)
POWER, John, Hair Dresser
READY, Charles, Excise Officer
SALE, John, Carpenter, (Freeman)
SKINNER, Ambrose, Sadler & Collar Maker
SMITH, Robert, Coal Merchant
STAPLES, Henry, Carpenter, (Freeman)
STARKEY, Richard, Linen Draper, (Freeman)
TAPE & CO, Brewers
WEBB, Henry, Innkeeper
WELLUM, Edward, Plumber & Glazier, (Freeman)
WESTBROOK, James Tallow Chandler, (Freeman)
WILSON, James, Innkeeper
SEATS: Four miles west of Bromley is Holwood House, the seat of Right Hon. William PITT, Chancellor of the Exchequer near which are the remains of Julius Caesars camp, and a cold bath, called Julius Caesar’s well, much frequented in summer. One mile south in the parish of Beckenham is Langley, the seat of Sir Peter BURRELL, Bart., and near the seat of Lord AUCKLAND. 3 miles east, in the parish of Chislehurst is Camden Place, the seat of Earl CAMDEN, formally the property of the celebrated antiquarian of that name. Over the well in the lawn of the house, his lordship has erected a celebrated piece of architecture, called the Lantern of Demosthenes, on the same plan as the original. At Bromley common is a fine seat belonging to George NORMAN, Esq. AND AT Plaistow in the parish of Bromley, is one belonging to Peter THELLUSON, Esq.


This is a place of some trade, though not a market town. It has a fair on the 22 May. It is partly in the parish of Chatham and partly in that of Gillingham. It is situated on an eminence and commands a pleasing view of the river, in its various directions. One row of houses, in particular is called, from its agreeable situation Prospect Row. Brompton, from its vicinity to the yard has much increased of late years in population and extent. The streets are wide and clean, for, lying on a declivity; the water is soon carried off. Behind and on each side of Brompton is a tract of land called the Works on which had formally been redoubts and a line of circumvallation was in the last war thrown up, by way of security to the Dockyard: which is now under very comfortable improvements; several out works are also erected for the more essential security of that important arsenal. Near Brompton are very commodious barracks for the reception of soldiers, which are reckoned the most healthy in England. In the summer of 1778 barracks were also erected for the reception of the marines. It owes principal support to the officers residing here and at Chatham; and is much resorted to be genteel company, having balls, assemblies, etc. in abundance. There are two castles on the shore near Brompton, opposite to each other, the one at Upnor, the other called Gillingham castle. Both designed to guard two reaches of the river; besides, at a place called The Swamp, a fort now, known by the name of Birds Nest Fort, and another at Cockham Wood, all which (though they might be made of great service in times of war, in case of such another daring attempts as the Dutch made upon the Royal Navy in this river on the 22nd of June 1667) are now quite neglected. It is 30 miles from London, and adjoining Chatham.

The following is a list of the principal inhabitants

DENNIS, Francis, Esq.

ANDREWS, Thomas Whitton, Surgeon
DAVIES, Thomas, Surgeon
SKINNER, Dunstan, Surgeon

ADAMS, Joseph, Butcher
ANDREWS, Solomon, Victualler
ANKHORN, Stephen, Taylor
ARCHER, William, Bricklayer
BANKS, John, Shoe Seller
BEAUMONT, Frederick, Victualler
BOWLES, Richard, Linen Draper
BURBRIDGE, Mary, Grocer
BURR, George & Thomas, Plumbers & Glaziers
CHAMPNESS, Mary, Chandler
COOMBER, Thomas, Grocer
COUCHER, E. Grocer
CURCH, Victualler
DAY, Henrietta Maria, Grocer
DUNK, Charles, Shoe Maker
EDGCUMBE, Pierce, Navy Clerk
EDWARDS, Thomas, Navy Pay Clerk
ELVEY, William, Shoe Maker
FAUCHON, William, Grocer
FENNELL, John, Navy Pay Clerk
FRIDD, Thomas, Victualler
GREEN, Joseph, Victualler
GRENSTED, William, Baker
HAITE, Benjamin, Navy Clerk
HAITE, Thomas, Navy Clerk
HARDINGE, Sarah, Ladies Boarding School
HERVEY, Richard, Baker
HILLYER, Richard, Grocer
IRONS, John, Grocer
JACKSON, John, Grocer
JARVIS, Thomas, Grocer
JEFFERY, John, Peruke Maker
JORDON, Victualler
KEARNLEY, Joseph, Blacksmith
KENNETT, Jacob, Victualler
KINCAID, James, Navy Clerk
LEACH, Benjamin, Chandler
LINDREGE, John, Bricklayer
MELLIN, Joseph, Shoe Seller
MUNN, Thomas, butcher
NASCINI, Joseph, Perfumer & Hair Dresser
OWDEN, Edward, Taylor
PALMER, Richard, Victualler
PHILLIPS, Richard, House Carpenter
PIX, John, Butcher
PRATTEN, Chandler
PRINGLE, Victualler
QUINT, George, Perfumer & Hair Dresser
RALPH, John, Butcher
REED, Robert, Taylor
RICHMAN, Isaac, Chandler
SCOTT, Grocer
SIMMERTON, John, Schoolmaster
SKILLETT, Daniel, Linen Draper
SMITH, Francis Robert, Navy Clerk
SMYTH, William, Navy Pay Clerk
STONE, Had, Schoolmaster
STROUD, Henry, Victualler
STURIA, John, Victualler
SUGDEN, Thomas, Navy Clerk
SUGDEN, William, Navy Clerk
TRACY, Thomas, Bookseller & Stationer
VEAIL, Elizabeth, Grocer
WATKINS, Thomas, Grocer
WEST, William, Victualler & Bricklayer
WESTON, Elizabeth, Baker
WHITTLE, William, Baker
WICKER, Pastry Cook
Within a mile of Brompton, is the village of Gillingham. In the church are several monuments erected to the memory of eminent persons, some of which are as early as 1431. Over the porch at the West end is a niche in which stood the image of the famous Lady of Gillingham. This manor was formally in the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had a palace and frequently resided here; in the chapel of which, some bishops appear to have been consecrated. Some vestiges of the palace are still to be seen part of it being converted into a barn. Besides the manor of Gillingham and several others in this parish, there is that of Grange, with in the reign of William the Conqueror, was in the possession of Lord HASTINGS; in the reign of Henry iii was held by a descendent of that family on a tenure of finding two oars fro the ship which should carry the King from Dover to Whitsand near Calais. This manor is a member of the port of Hastings, one of the Cinque Ports. It must have been held in considerable estimation, since, out of the twenty one ships to be furnished by that port, the owner of this manor was to provide seven, with his men in armour. The manors of Lidsing and Twidale had each their separate chapels, in which divine service used to be performed, but, these having gone into decay, the few inhabitants of these small districts repair to Gillingham Church. This village, on account of its vicinity to the Medway, was much exposed to the depredation of the Danes. History gives an account of a battle having been fought here between Canute, a leader of the lawless plunderers, and Edmond Ironside, in which the former was worsted. At Gillingham, on the banks of the river, is a small fort, originally intended to annoy the ships of any hostile invader. It is, at present, a fortification of no strength or consequence. The white spire which appears on the opposite side of the river is the steeple of Hoo church. Two miles farther is the village of Rainham. In the church, the steeple of which is a strong ancient building are several ancient monuments, particularly an elegant marble statue of Nicholas TUFTON, Earl of Thanet, and, under one of the chapels is a curious vault which belongs to this family.


Is distant from London 50 miles, Canterbury 15; Faversham 10; Ashford 6; Maidstone 15; and Tenterten 13. It lies between Lenham and Westwell on the south road from Maidstone to Canterbury, stands on a spring head of the River Len and has the ruins of a castellated palace of the Archbishops given them by some of the first Saxon Kings. The fairs are April 29 and October 29. Mr LUDWELL, left by his will to this parish, 2550l, stock, for the free school, and other charity uses.
The post arrives here from London, Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
A stage coach to Maidstone every Wednesday.
A wagon sets out from the Swan Inn, every Tuesday morning at 6 o’clock, to the Old Kings Head Inn in the Borough; and returns every Friday at 7o’clock.

The following are the principal inhabitants

CREED, Edward, Gent, (Freeman)
ELSTED, Edward, Gent, (Freeman)
HUCKSTEPP, John, Gent, (Freeman)

MARSHALL, Edmund Rev. (Freeman)
SAYERS, George, Rev. (Freeman)

HAWKER, William, Surgeon, (Freeman)

NORWOOD, George, Attorney (Freeman)
SMART, William, Attorney, (Freeman)

AKHURST, John, Victualler, (Kings Head)
ASHBEE, Joseph, farmer, (Freeman)
AUSTIN, Alice, Baker
BACK, Matthew, Farmer
BAKER, Benjamin, Plumber & Glazier, (Freeman)
BALLARD, Samuel, Farmer
BEECHING, John, Blacksmith, (Freeman)
BETTS, Thomas, Farmer, (Freeman)
BETTS, William, Farmer, (Freeman)
BISHOP, Isayer, Smith
BRENCHLEY, John, Farmer
BUDDS, Daniel, Grocer
BUTLER, Robert, Common Carrier
CHAPMAN, Thomas, Maltster
CHAPMAN, William, Farmer, (Freeman)
CLINCH, Thomas, Farmer, (Freeman)
DEW, William, Collar Maker
ELSTED, Stedman, Woolstapler and Fellmonger, (Freeman)
EPPS, Mary Grocer
FLINT, William, Clock & Watchmaker
FOSTER, John, Farmer
GASSEN, Moses, Hair dresser
GAY, Richard, Officer of Excise
GILMAN, George, Bricklayer
HARRISON, Robert, Framer, (Freeman)
HARRISSON, George, Butcher, (Freeman)
HODGES, Samuel, Victualler, (Freeman)
HOWARD, Charles, Farmer
HUMPHREY, Robert, Upholsterer, (Freeman)
HUMPHREY, Thomas, Hair dresser
HYDER, Thomas, Carpenter & Joiner
JENKINS, Henry, Farmer
JOHNSON, Richard, Farmer
JULL, William, Maltster
KNOCK, George, Lime Burner
KNOWLES, John, Carpenter & Joiner
MILGATE, Thomas, Brick & Tile Maker
MISSING, Thomas, Miller
PIERCE, Richard, Farmer
PILCHER, John, Master of the Free School
RACHELL, John, Wheelwright, (Freeman)
RACHELL, Thomas, Salesman, (Freeman)
RATTEN, James, Cordwainer
SHARWOOD, Edward, Farmer
SHARWOOD, Stephen, Victualler
SMITH, Messrs, Cordwainer
SUTHERN, John, Farmer
TULLY, Jane & Sarah, Linen Drapers
WEST, John, Taylor, Draper & Hosier
WHITWOOD, John, Farmer, (Freeman)
WILLIS, John, Schoolmaster, (Freeman)
WOOLEY, Paul, Grocer, (Freeman)
The principal villages and seats of the nobility and gentry in the vicinity of Charing are Otterden, seat of Granville WEELER, Esq. 3 miles.
Cale Hill, seat of Harry DARRELL, Esq. 2 miles
Surrenden Dearing, seat of Sir Edward DEARING Bart. 3 miles
Hothfield, seat of the Earl of Thanet, 4 miles
Chillson, seat of Thomas BEST, 4 miles


Cranbrook is a very large, populous and flourishing, parish, and gives name to the capital town of the Weald of Kent. Its market is on Saturday. It hath two fairs, one May 30th for cattle and peddlers ware the other, September 29th & 30th for cattle, hops, etc.
This town lies on the South side of the County, in the bailiwick of the seven hundreds, Lath of Scray, west division of the County, and lower division of justices of the said Lath. The liberty of the Dean of Canterbury claims over the town and all the den of Cranbrook (as being part of the manor of Godmersham), except the George Inn, which is out of that liberty, and held of King Charles I by knight’s service.
The Parish is in the Deanery of Charing and the diocese of Canterbury. The parsonage was anciently appropriate and belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury, till Thomas, Archbishop thereof of Henry VIII by grant enrolled in the office of augmentation, granted the same to that King and afterwards in the 33rd year of Henry VIII, that King made a grant of this parsonage to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. In Milkhouse Street, in this parish (not long before the suppression of abbeys) was built a chapel, dedicated to The Holy Trinity. This chapel at the aforesaid was likewise suppressed and only the ruins remain.
Cranbrook hath in it one constable, who hath in his liberty part of Benenden, parish of Biddenden, part of Cranbrook, part of Frittenden, part of Hedcorn, part of Staplehurst, part of Hawkhurst, and the churches of Cranbrook, Frittenden and Staplehurst.

Cranbrook is half a mile in length and contains several handsome houses and commodious inns, the chief and most ancient which is the George, that having been public house long before the reign of Queen Mary. The market house stands at an angle of two Streets, one of which is only paved; this pavement was begun in 1654 and finished in 1657; at the same time the market was enlarged and made more convenient.
In this town the Flemings, encouraged by the munificence of King Edward III, first taught the art of weaving broad cloth with a variety of mixed colours. The Royal Edward, sensible of the great importance of this stable commodity granted to these industrious manufacturers such rewards and immunities as rendered Cranbrook (in its auspicious reign) the seat of useful arts and opulence. The number of broad looms employed in this manufactory was very great; each loom required two men and one quill winder who furnished employment for fourteen scribblers, two forters, two scowerers and dyers, and four clothworkers. Ninety pound weight of wool was used per week in each loom and eighteen women were employed in spinning the frame. Each weaver’s wages at that time was about eight shillings per week and thus large sums of money were weekly earned and spent. This manufactory is now removed from hence into the Northern and Western parts of the Kingdom, where workmanship is at a much cheaper rate than it is in this parish.

Here is a Free grammar school, endowed by charter by Queen Elizabeth. The lands assigned for the support of this institution produced at first but a small income, yet of late years they have much augmented in value. The school house is spacious, neat, and convenient, for the reception of many boarders. Here is also a writing school for poor children, founded in 1573, by Mr Alexander DENCE.

The church is a beautiful edifice dedicated to St. Dunstan and stands on a rising ground in the centre of a large burial place. It circumference by the outside wall is 733 feet; its length; 166 feet and its width 69 feet. The nave or body (which hath a very elegant ceiling) is in height 36 feet, with wide aisles in proportion. The height to the top of the battlements on the tower, which contains eight bells with musical chimes, is about 73 feet and to the top of the gilt star over the vane which is of curious workmanship is nearly 94 feet.
A great part of this church which is supposed to be the most ancient in the Western division of Kent and had cost the parishioners upwards of 800l in a few years, fell down on the on the 2nd of July in the year 1725, by one of the chief pillars giving way whilst the bell was tolling to prayers and by that fall a breach was made more than the dimension of 50 feet which not only exposed the standing part of the building to all inclemencies of the weather, but left it to ruinous as to render it unsafe for the inhabitants to assemble for divine worship. The damages occasioned by this accident were estimated at 2376l 13s 9d and through charitable contributions by brief, they were so far repaired, that divine service was performed for the first time in the body of the church, November 7th 173, by the Rev. Joseph DISNEY, the then vicar of Cranbrook. On Saturday August 19, 1787 between morning and evening service, an awful flash of lightening, attended by a tremendous clap of thunder, was attracted to the uppermost point of the star over the vane, from whence it descended by an iron rod, shivered the wood work in which the vane was fixed and threw several of its pieces a long distance; after this demolition it considerably damaged the stone work passed next to the lead of the tower and descended though a leaden pipe on the South side, from hence it proceeded to the clock dial, tarnished some of the hour figures and injured much of the woodwork, it then passed into the chime loft, splintered the door in pieces an at last vented itself at the East end of the South aisle, without doing any material damage to the body of the church. The clock dial since the aforementioned accident hath been new painted and makes a brilliant appearance, it justly demands the attention of the observer as perhaps not one equal for its size and beauty is to be found affixed to any other church in Kent. The dial is about six feet square, exclusive of the ornaments at the sides, which consists of carved wood, representing flowers, fruit, etc. Two palm branches curiously finished, adorn the dial at the bottom on which are the arms of the diocese of Canterbury, finely gilt. The hour figures, hand, etc make a splendid show from the lustre of the gold that enriches them. Over the whole stands an exquisite statue of Time, whose height is upwards of five feet and all parts are in true symmetry and proportion; the attitude is impressive and the arms, legs, and particularly the feet, bear on them a striking resemblance of decrepit age; the wings are on a point of expansion and entirely gilt as is also his forelock, the frame of his hour glass etc.
At the West side of the steeple are sculptured the arms of three families, anciently eminent in this parish, viz BERHAM, former owner of Sissenhurst; BETTENHAM, sometime owner of Bettenham House and WILFORD, formally proprietor of Hartridge. On entering the church at the little south door the eye of a stranger is struck by of the most marvellous marble monument erected to the memory of the family ROBERTS, at Glassenbury in this parish and contains an complete pedigree from Walter, who died in or about the year 1522, down to Jane, daughter of Sir Walter ROBERTS and the late Duchess of St Albans, who died in the year 1778. On the left hand of the vestry door is a small alabaster monument, finely decorated with military ensigns, and bearing on a black marble tablet an account of the family ROOKEHERSTE, alias ROBERTS. The first of them settled in England was William, a Gentleman from Scotland, who came to Goudhurst in 1104, and in the third of Henry I. The name and family of ROOKEHERSTE, alias ROBERTS continued in the parish of Goudhurst 274 years. In the reign of Richard II, Stephen ROBERTS, came into the parish of Cranbrook and build a sumptuous house on the hill of Glassenbury. This family had remained in the parish of Cranbrook 402 years recounting from Stephen ROBERTS, the first to settle in it down to the Duchess of St Alban’s the last of the family. Near the pillar which sunk when part of the church fell in 1725, is a pyramidical monument of the family of BAKERS, at Sissenhurst, in this parish, some of which were formally High Sheriffs of this county. On a very antique stone in the chancel is inlaid a small piece of brass, on which is engraved a representation of eleven humans figures in close succession, and three other pieces of brass upon the same stone, are short inscriptions in Saxon characters, scarcely legible.
In the church are contained divers other sepulchral memorials worthy of the notice of all who enter that venerable structure. A the West end of the middle aisle is a commodious gallery, at the back part thereof is a fine piece of painting, which consiseth of two fluted columns, with ornamental capitals ; around an elliptical arch, is the representation of a crimson curtain, with drapery of ermine, and bordered with gold fringed lace; it was formed into six festoons, from each of which is pendent a golden cord with tassels and finished at the top with a crown that reaches to the ceiling, within the said arch is placed the Kings Arms, most excellently carved in wood and splendidly gilt, with golden letters underneath denoting it to have been a gift of Thomas BASDEN, apothecary in London 1756. On each side of the arms is a window painted in the form of those around the church through which is represented a cloudy sky in perspective. From the centre of the ceiling of the middle aisle descends on a very curious piece of iron work decorated with gilt flowers, a large chandelier with twenty four sconces and over the whole is painted on the ceiling, a central rose and projecting tulips. Above an elliptical arch, by which is an entrance to the chancel, is a painting of the Kings Arms in a large gilt frame, on each side is a festoon curtain. The ceiling of the chancel is somewhat in form of an arch, the sides of which are painted with various colours the top is adorned with four hollow pieces of carving gilt and the border underneath contains the portraits of cherubim’s crowns and sceptres. The window at the East end exhibits many elegant paintings of human beings, coats of arms, St. George and the dragon, etc. The altar piece is most exquisitely finished with carved wainscot and flowery embellishments that surpass description. In the front of it are written in golden letters the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and Apostles Creed; over the middle part of this representation of glory, containing in its centre the Jewish Tetragrammaton. In the chancel hang many military ensigns, and armorial furniture, such as helmets, gauntlets, spurs, etc. formally belonging to the ROBERTS at Glassenbury. The pavement at the altar to which is an easy ascent of four stone steps is very handsome, it consists of black and white marble, chequered, and within the communion rails in the centre is a large circle, composed of many pieces of marble of various colours. Over the church porch is a room strongly secured with double doors and iron bars at the windows. Neither history nor tradition give any information of the purpose for which it was built, but the most probable conjecture is, that it was used as a place of confinement for Protestants in the persecuting days of Queen Mary.
Cranbrook appears to have been a town of ancient note and wealthy manufactory; the loss of the woollen trade to the inhabitants might in some measure be compensated if the hop planters in this and in the neighbouring parishes would agree to establish a weekly market here for the sale of hops.
The post from London to Cranbrook arrives Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at seven o’clock and returns to Cranbrook for London, a quarter before five in the afternoon of the same days. A stage coach from Tenterden to Maidstone calls at the Bull Inn, Milkhouse Street (a hamlet, two miles from Cranbrook town), every Thursday morning at five o’clock and returns the same day. Inside fare from Milkhouse to London 12s, outside, 7s. Inside from Milkhouse to Maidstone 4s, outside 2s 6d.
Susannah TYE’s wagon goes from Cranbrook every Tuesday morning, through Tunbridge and Sevenoaks to the Talbot Inn in the borough every Wednesday afternoon, and returns Thursday morning to Cranbrook on Friday evening. Goods 3s per cwt. Both these wagons go from Cranbrook to Tenterden every Saturday

The following are the principal inhabitants of Cranbrook

GREENALL, T. Rev. Master of the Free School
PODMORE, Rev. Vicar

CUCKOW, Thomas, Surgeon
WATTS, Robert, Surgeon

CUCKOW, William, Attorney (Freeman) 

ANDERSON, John, Carpenter, (Freeman)
BALCOMB, William, Staymaker
BALLARD, Isaac, Victualler, (White Lion)
BARDEN, Thomas, Victualler, (Duke William)
BATES, James, Victualler, (Bull)
BEEMAN, Isaac, Draper
BOORMAN, Thomas, Glover
BOORMAN, William, Glover
BOOTH, Thomas, Hair Dresser
BOURN, Thomas, Grocer
BRIDGLAND, John, Thread worker
BROUGH, Jonathan, Supervisor
BURGIS, William, Pattern Maker
BURNHAN, William, Taylor
BURTON, Gilbert, Tobacconist, (Freeman)
BURTON, John, Watchmaker
BUSS, William, Cordwainer
CALLOW, Hugh, Blacksmith
CHAPMAN, Robert, Taylor
CLIFFORD, John, Grocer
COUCHMAN, Ann, Ironmonger
COUCHMAN, William, Linen & weaver
CRAFT, John, Victualler, (Bell), (Freeman)
DANN, H. Victualler (Kings Head), (Freeman)
DOBELL, Benjamin and Joseph, Salesmen, (Freemen)
DOBELL, William, Tallow Chandler, (Freeman)
DROWLEY, Eleanor, Milliner
DROWLEY, George, Cordwainer
DROWLEY, Richard, Cooper
ELLIOT, John, Draper (Freeman)
FRYER, William, Wheelwright
FUGGLE, William & John, Bricklayers, (Freemen)
GEER, Joseph, Currier, (Freeman)
HARDEN, Henry, Grocer, (Freeman)
HARDEN, William, Hair dresser
HOPPER, Moses, Taylor
IGGULDEN, James, Butcher
INGRAM, Ann, Tallow Chandler
JACKSON, john, Gunsmith
JENNER, Stephen, Cordwainer
JENNER, Thomas, Cordwainer
JENNER, William, Cordwainer
JENNER, William, Cutler
KINGSMELL, Edward, Glover
KNOWLDEN, Victualler, (White Horse)
LEIGH, Samuel, Sadler
MANSFIELD, Hair Dresser
MERRILL, Edward, Butcher
MILLER, Leonard, Ginger Bread Maker
MOFFIT, John, Butcher
MOORE, William, Turner, (Freeman)
MORRIS, William, Grocer
MOTT, John, Upholder
NOWELL, Edward, Worsted Maker
OLIVE, Thomas, Watch Maker
PAWLEY, Thomas, Draper
PAWSON, Samuel, Tinman
PAWSON, Thomas, Brazier
POTTER, James, Blacksmith
READER, S. Stamp and Sun Fire Office
SIGGS, George, Hollow Turner
SMITH, John, Wine Merchant, (Freeman)
SMITH, Joseph, Butcher, (Freeman)
STONEHOUSE, G. Cordwainer, (Freeman)
TOLHURST, William, Butcher
UNICUM, Richard, Turner
WATERS, Samuel, Printer
WELLS, Richard, Wheelwright, (Freeman)
WILMOT, Sim. Dancing Master
WILMSHURST, John, Corn Chandler
WILMSHURST, Stephen, Brewer
WILMSHURST, Thomas (sen) Victualler, (Freeman)
WILMSHURST, Thomas, (jun) Victualler, (Freeman)

Is a village 4 miles South from Cranbrook. It is a place of great antiquity and has a neat Gothic church. It has a fair on the 15th May.

The principal inhabitants are as follows;

DUNN, Rev., Rector
CATT, Brannis, Draper
CHESMAN, Robert, Grocer
GUDE, John, Victualler (Bull)
REEVES, Thomas, Draper & Taylor

Is four miles East from Cranbrook. It principal residents are:

FRIEND, Henry, Rev. Rector

BAKER, Victualler, (Bell)
BAKER, William, Victualler, (George)
BATES, Edward, Grocer
BURGIS, Thomas, Grocer

Is five miles North from Cranbrook. Principal Inhabitants

GROVES, Rev. Rector

DIAMOND & WATSON, Surgeons, (Freemen)


BOORMAN, William, Wheelwright (Freeman)
BROMLEY, William, Butcher, (Freeman)
BUSS, Samuel, Carpenter, (Freeman)
CHITTENDEN, Thomas, Blacksmith
DOBELL, Jacob, Draper, (Freeman)
HARMAN, Henry, Hair dresser, (Freeman)
HOW, Thomas, Peruke Maker
INGRAM, William, Cordwainer, (Freeman)
LAMBERT, Thomas, Glover, (Freeman)
MERRIAM, Mary, Linen Draper
MITCHELL, Cha. Victualler, (Bell), (Freeman)
PAGE, Samuel, Cordwainer
PANKHURST, Nathaniel, Bricklayer, (Freeman)
PHILCOX, George, Milliner
REEVES, Rich. Carpenter & Ironmonger, (Freeman)
SAVERY, William, Victualler, (King’s Head)
SIMMONS, John, Tallow Chandler, (Freeman)
SPRATT, John, Taylor, (Freeman)
THAWATES, Stephen, Tallow Chandler, (Freeman)
UNICUM, Creasy, Turner
WALTER, Iden, Tanner & Sadler, (Freeman)
WALTER, Stephen, Plumber
WATTS, Thomas, Victualler, (Crown)

The following gentlemen have seats in or near Cranbrook

Richard SMART, Esq. at Angley
ROBERTS, Esq., at Glassenbury
T HALLETT HODGES, Esq. at Hempsted, Benenden
Charles NAIRN, Esq. at Milkhouse
Nicholas TOKE USBORN, Esq. at Oaks
John SCOTT, Esq. a magistrate at Osborne
John TEMPLE, Esq. at Shepherds
Thomas ADAMS, Esq. at Swifts
Adjoining Cranbrook, is a fine seat and park belonging to the Duke of St. Albans.

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The Universal British Directory 1790 part 1
Created by Maureen Rawson