Ham, a small parish and a very small village, pleasantly situated at the northern boundary of the uplands of East Kent, 2¾ miles S.S.W. from Sandwich, commanding fine views of the adjoining country, the town of Deal and the channel and the coast of France. The parish contains 500 acres of land, consisting partly of chalk and partly of a rich loam; towards the north the land falls to Ham Bridge over the south stream, which directs its course to Worthchapel and Sandwich, from which town it runs to the Stour; in this part the lands are marshy.

Sign found near the village of Ham

The church, dedicated to St. George, is a small ancient structure which adjoins the village, and consists of nave, chancel, and side aisle with a pointed wooden turret at the west end. There is no parsonage house, though there are 9½ acres of ancient glebe. In the chancel are several memorials for the Bunces of this parish. In the nave a memorial for Thomas Fagg Esq. who died in 1748, and for Lydia, his daughter, aged two months, 1737: she was murdered by her maid, who was hanged for the crime: and one for Matthew Collett, Esq., of Updown place, dated 1777. The church of Ham was granted by Archbishop Baldwin, at the latter end of the reign of Henry II at the petition of Sir William de Norfolk, lord of the soil, to the prior and convent of Ledes. In 1235, Archbishop Edmund, in the name of a perpetual benefice, granted forty shillings yearly to them from this church; but at the dissolution, there seems only a pension of twenty shillings paid, which was granted by the King, in his 33rd year, to the Dean and Chapter of Rochester, where it still remains; and the advowson has since the dissolution continued in the Crown.

The Manor of Ham, at Domesday Survey was in the possession of Odo Bishop of Baieux, and was taxed at one suling, and was worth sixty shillings. After the Bishop’s disgrace, it was granted to Hugh de Port. In the 41st year of the reign of Edward III, one moiety of the manor escheated to the Crown, by the death of Juliana, Infanta of Kent. It was settled in the 11th and 22nd years of Richard II, on the Priory of Canons alias Chilton Langley, in Hertfordshire, where it remained till the suppression of that house, 30th year Henry VIII; and in the 36th year of that reign was granted to Sir Thomas Moyle, who sold it, in the 2nd year of Edward VI, to Sir Robert Oxenbridge, who becoming possessed of the other moiety in right of his wife, Alice, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Fogge, enjoyed the whole of this manor; which his descendant sold in the latter end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign to Edward Boys Esq. Sir Robert Furnese, Bart., died possessed of it in 1733; and Anne, his daughter carried it in marriage to John Viscount St. John. Their grandson, George, Viscount Bolingbroke, in 1750, sold it to Mr. Thomas Petman of Eastry. This manor claims over some lands of trifling extent in Chillenden.

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