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St. Mary Magdalen, Cudham, parish church, copyright 2011, Oast House Archive, licensed for use under Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 2.0
St. Mary Magdalen, Cobham
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Cobham Parish

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Cobham is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Rochester, in the archdeaconry of Rochester and St. Albans.  The church is named for St. Mary Magdalen with original parish registers commencing 1655.

Cobham, a village and a parish in North Aylesford district, Kent.  The village stands on Watling Street, 1-1/4 mile northeast of Sole Street rail station, and 4 south-south-east of Gravesend;  has a post office under Gravesend;  was the scene of Pickwick's ludicrous antiquarian discovery;  possesses still the "clean and commodious ale-house", to which Mr. Tupman retired from the world;  is much frequented by visitors from London;  was once a market town and still has a fair on 2 August.  The parish comprises 3,096 acres.  Real property in 1860, £5,839.  Population in 1861, 864.  Houses, 170.  The property is divided among a few.

The manor belonged, from early times, to the great family of De Cobham;  passed by marriage, toward the end of the 14th century, to Sir John Oldcastle, who assumed the title of Lord Cobham in right of his wife;  passed again by marriage, soon afterwards, to the Brookes, who also bore the title of Lords Cobham;  went, by attainder, in the first year of James I, to the Crown;  was granted to the Stewarts, Earls of Lennox;  and descended, in the early part of last century, to John Bligh, Esq., who was created Earl of Darnley.  Cobham Hall, the Earl of Darnley's seat, consists of a centre and two wings;  is partly a Tudor brick structure of 1582-94, and partly a renovation and addition by Inigo Jones;  gave entertainment to Elizabeth and Charles I;  and contains a very rich collection of pictures, and a large antique bath of red oriental granite.  The yard contains a chariot, alleged to have been that in which Elizabeth traveled, but really not older than the time of William III.  The park is 7 miles in circuit;  has much diversity of hill and dale;  contains a heronry and a large stock of deer;  and includes an elevation, called William's hill, commanding a fine view, and crowned by a mausoleum, built in 1783, at a cost of £9,000 but never used.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester.  Value, £391.  Patron, the Earl of Darnley.  The church is partly early English, partly late decorated;  and contains a remarkable assemblage of brasses and other monuments.  A chantry for seven priests was founded, contiguous to the churchyard, in 1387, by Sir John de Cobham;  and some fragments of it still exist.

An alms house, called a college, was founded on the site of the chantry, in 1598, by the executors of Sir William Brooke, Lord Cobham;  forms a quadrangle, containing twenty lodging rooms and a chapel;  and has an endowed income of £220. 1

1  John Marius Wilson, comp.  The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).

Cobham Bibliography

-- various. 'Archaeologia Cantiana'. Publisher: Kent, England: Kent Archaeological Society, various dates.  [Note:  The following volumes can be found on  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (1876), 11, 12, 13 (1880), 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32, 34, 35, vol. 1907 supplement.]

  • General references to Cobham: vol. , pp.
  • Currently in revision

Great Britain, Public Record Office. 'Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office--Edward II, Vol. 1. 1307-1313'Each volume has own index. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Great Britain, Public Record Office. 'Inquisitions and assessments relating to feudal aids : with other analogous documents preserved in the Public Record Office, A. D. 1284-1431', Vol. 3. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Great Britain, Exchequer. 'The book of fees commonly called testa de nevill, pt. 3'. The Book of fees contains information about the holdings of feudal tenants. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Hall, Hubert, 1857-1944. 'The Red book of the Exchequer - Liber rubeus de Scaccario, Vol. 3'. The Red book of the Exchequer was a register intended to preserve important documents comprising charters, statutes of the realm, public acts (Placita), private deeds and ordinances, correspondence. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Glencross, Reginald Morshead. 'Administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Vol. 1. 1559-1571'. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Hasted, Edward. 'The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent; Containing the antient and present state of it, civil and ecclesiastical; collected from public records, and other authorities: illustrated with maps, views, antiquities, etc. The second edition, improved, corrected, and continued to the present time'. 12 volumes. Publisher: Canterbury: Printed by W. Bristow, 1797-1801. URL: British History Online

Hussey, Arthur. 'Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, mentioned in Domesday book, and those of more recent date'. Publisher: London J.R. Smith,(1852).

Letters, Dr. Samantha. 'Kent', Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 (2005).  URL: British History Online.

Page, William, 1861-1934, ed.. 'The Victoria history of the county of Kent'. Publisher: London: Constable (1908).  URL: British History Online

Sharp, J. E. E. S., ed.. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I, File 39', Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Volume 2: Edward I. Published:(1906), pp. 315-323.  URL: British History Online.

Sharp, J. E. E. S., ed.. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 45', Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Volume 1: Henry III. Published:(1904), pp. 296-302.  URL: British History Online.

Location of Records

The following list of records is not intended to be exhaustive.  There are many records that are awaiting discovery in archive offices throughout Kent and England.  This list is intended only to set out those records that are available via at least two relatively easy-to-access avenues.  If you have used or discover a record that would be of benefit to other researchers, that is not on this list, please send me an email with the details of the archive - name, address and archival call number.

Census | Church of England | Non-Conformist | Parish chest | Workhouse and Poor Law | Land | Assizes and Sessions | School



Date The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue,
Kew, Richmond,
LDS Family History Centre
(Find a centre near you)
and indexed online at:
6 June 1841 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 census name index & images Currently under revision  
7 Apr 1861 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1871 Currently under revision  
3 Apr 1881 Currently under revision  
5 Apr 1891 Currently under revision  
31 Mar 1901 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1911 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1911 RG 78/139 - Census Enumerator's Summary Books online only and other subscription sites none

Church Records, Church of England

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Register   Currently under revision  
Bishop's transcripts   Currently under revision  
CMB transcripts   Currently under revision  
Parish Registers, transcribed by Thomas Colyer-Fergusson   Currently under revision  

Church Records, Non-Conformist

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Particular Baptist Chapel, Nonconformist Return   Currently under revision  
Methodist Church Registers   Currently under revision  

Parish chest records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Council Minutes   Currently under revision  
Removal orders out of Cobham   Currently under revision  
Settlement Examinations, Minute book   Currently under revision  
Overseers' Accounts   Currently under revision  
Return of Churchwardens, constables and defaulters     
Tithe Apportionment Files      
Poor Rate books   Currently under revision  

Workhouse and Poor Law Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Admission & Discharge books   This section currently under revision  
Guardians' Minutes      
Births   Currently under revision  
Deaths   Currently under revision  
Religious creed registers   Currently under revision  
Apprentice Register      
Registers of lunatics      
Letters books      
Vaccination registers, Bromley area 1899-1930 Currently under revision  

Land Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Land tax assessments 1780-1831 Currently under revision  
Land tax assessments 1875-1876 Currently under revision  
Land tax assessments 1889-1890 Currently under revision  
Rates and Duties - Houses, Windows, Lights   Currently under revision  
Manorial Court rolls   Currently under revision  
War Damage Files 1939-1962 Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone, Kent, no.: Finding Aid at CKS-DRb/RW 123 None

Assizes and Sessions Records
(poor laws, jail terms, oaths, and other municipal and public records)

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Hearth tax   Currently under revision  
Victuallers Recognizances   Currently under revision  
Churchwarden's Presentments   Currently under revision  
Parish rate books   Currently under revision  

School Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
    Currently under revision  


Coming Soon

Church Registers


Parish Chest

  • Settlement Certificates
  • Removal Orders
  • Bastardy Examinations
  • Parish-assisted Immigrants
  • Churchwarden's Accounts
  • Overseer's Accounts
  • Surveyor's Accounts
  • Workhouse Records
  • Pew Rents
  • Donors' Rolls
  • Vestry Minutes
  • Bishops' Visitations
  • Parish Magazines
  • Parish Histories


Total Population

1801   -   571
1811   -   497
1821   -   646
1831   -   732
1841   -   758
1851   -   718
1861   -   864
1871   -   998
1881   -   919
1891   -   968
1901   -   806
1911   -   833
1921   -   955

Cobham Distance to

London 23.0 mi.
Canterbury 30.0 mi.
Ashford 26.1 mi.
Bromley 16.8 mi.
Chatham 5.9 mi.
Cranbrook 20.8 mi.
Dartford 9.8 mi.
Deptford 20.0 mi.
Dover 43.1 mi.
Faversham 21.6 mi.
Folkestone 39.0 mi.
Gravesend 3.9 mi.
Greenwich 18.3 mi.
Hythe 37.0 mi.
Maidstone 9.8 mi.
Margate 42.2 mi.
Milton Regis 14.5 mi.
Queenborough 15.1 mi.
Ramsgate 44.2 mi.
Rochester 3.1 mi.
Sandwich 41.5 mi.
Sheerness 15.5 mi.
Tenterden 25.3 mi.
Tunbridge 18.9 mi.
Woolwich 16.4 mi.


Municipal & Public Records

  • Mayors
  • Town Clerks
  • Recorders
  • Chamberlains
  • M.P.s
  • Jurats, Aldermen and Common Councilmen
  • Electoral Register
  • Freeholders
  • Freemen Index
  • Freeman's Roll
  • Masters Index
  • Pubs, Taverns, Inns, Alehouses
  • Victuallers

Wills & Estate Records

  • AD index 1448-1857
  • CC index 1448-1857
  • PCC 1338-1858
  • PPR 1858-1925
  • Depositions

Court Records

  • Quarter Sessions
  • Transportations
  • Protestation Rolls c1641-1643
  • Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy 1662
  • Oaths of Allegiance c1720s

Military Records

Land Records
& Maps

  • Parish Map
  • Victoria County History
  • Deeds, Mortgages, etc.
  • Rated Property Returns
  • Returns of owners of land, 1873
  • Manors
  • Manor Court Baron
  • Manor Tenancy Rolls
  • Manors, Castles & Holdings of Significance

Tax Lists

  • Poll Tax
  • Hearth Tax
  • Window Tax
  • Hair Powder Tax
  • Land Tax Assessments 1780-1831
  • Land Tax Assessments 1799-1805

Other Records

Village Resources