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Kent Online Parish Clerks

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St. Mary Cray, Kent, copyright 2007, John Salmon, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 2.0
St. Mary Cray Parish Church
(Click photo for larger view)

St. Mary Cray Parish

     A View of the Parish

Sattelite image of St. Mary Cray
Click on map to view full size on Google Maps.
1903 Ordnance survey map of StMaryCray with link to modern ordnance survey map
Click here for larger image of this 1903 survey.
Click map for modern Ordnance survey map.
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data by permission of Ordnance Survey, © Crown copyright.
worldcomputer.PNG - 44860 BytesYour Online Parish Clerk is:
Mrs. Debra Buchanan

Email her at:

"debra  buchanan
m2data.  com  .au"

(Replace word in capital letters with the appropriate symbol, remove any extraneous spaces and remove quotation marks.)

If you have any data you wish to contribute, please contact Debra.

Statistical Summary

Acres:  2,010
OS co-ordinates:  TQ 472 683
Latitude:  51:23.7109N
Longitude:  0:6.8845E

Parish Church:  St. Mary the Virgin
Registers commence:  1579
Other Denominations:
  2 Independent, Wesleyan, Roman Catholic
  ceased Nov. 26, 1703
Fairs:  13 Feb., 10 Sep. for toys
Electoral Place:   
Jails:  local police
Bordering parishes:
  St. Pauls Cray, St. Mary Cray, Chislehurst, Swanley, Crockenhill, Orpington, Chelsfield, Keston, West Wickham, Hayes, Shortlands, Bromley

  railway station with telegraph, post office, literary institute, reading rooms, a police station, an endowed school, National school, Sunday infant and adult school, excise office,

Registration District:  Bromley
Poor Law Union:
  19 May 1836+ Bromley, previously poor were maintained by St. Mary Cray
  3 Mar 1816 - 1844 workhouse located near Reynoldsmiths in St. Mary Cray also for Orpington poor.

  1844 - 31 Mar 1930 workhouse at Locksbottom, Farnborough


Probate pre-1859:
   up to 31 Dec 1844 - Bishop of Rochester's Episcopal Consistory Court and Archdeaconry Court of Rochester;
  1 Jan 1845 - 31 Dec 1857 Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth;
  1 Jan 1858 to date Principal Probate Registry

Lathe:  Sutton at Hone
Houses as of 1860:  277 1

Domesday Reference:
   Called Sudcrai and having a church. An industrial place in greater London. Sudcrai was taxed at 1 suling. In demesne there are 2 carucates and 14 villeins with 1 borderer having 4 carucates. There are 6 servants, and 10 acres of meadow; wood for the pannage of 10 bogs. In the time of King Edward the Confessor it was worth 6 pounds, and afterwards 4 pounds, and now 10 pounds. Toli held it of king Edward. As to the manor of Sentling: It was taxed at 1 suling and a half. In demesne there are 2 carucates, and 20 villeins with 2 carucates. There is a church and 9 servants, and 6 acres of meadow, and 20 acres of pasture; wood for the pannage of 8 bogs. In the time of Edward the Confessor it was worth 8 pounds, and afterwards 6 pounds, now 8 pounds. Bonde held it of the archbishop.
Ordnance Survey St. Mary Cray 1856
Ordnance Map of 1856. Click map for larger image.

Principal landholder:
  Adam Fitz-Hubert taking Sudcrai from the Bishop of Bayeux. Hugh, grandson of Herbert, holds Sentlinge of the Bishop of Bayeux.

St. Mary Cray

St. Mary's Cray, is a village and a parish in Bromley district, Kent.  The village stands on the rivulet Cray, and on the Mid Kent railway, 4-1/2 miles east-by-south of Bromley;  was once a market town and includes a number of modern houses.

The parish comprises 2,010 acres.  Real property in 1860, £6,923.  Population in 1861, 1,464.  Houses, 277.  The property is much subdivided.  There is a large paper mill.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £300 with a habitable glebe house.  Patron, the Archbishop.  The church is later English and contains several ancient brasses and some memorials of the Mannings.

There are Independent and Wesleyan chapels, a literary institute, a police station, an endowed school with £70, and charities of £12. 1

A charity school was established here in 1710 for the education of six children; and Sir Thomas Dyke, in 1816, erected another, with a residence for the master and mistress, extending its benefits to the children of Orpington.  It is supported by a rent-charge upon estates at Hunton, bequeathed in 1715 by Catherine Withens, which, with a weekly contribution of two pence paid by each pupil sent from Orpington, produces an annual income of £80 to the master and mistress who also receive an allowance of £5 year, coal, et cetera.  About one hundred children are instructed upon the National system.

The "Crays" so called from the river Cray, which runs through it, is reckoned one of the most beautiful tracts in Kent, and produces a vast quantity of birch; it comprehends four parishes, with as many villages, distinguished by their prefixes, of which St. Mary's Cray was the most considerable, and had the privilege of a market so early as the reign of Edward I. but the market-house having been destroyed by a tempest in 1703, the market has never since been held. 2

Hackendean is 1-1/2 miles north-east of St. Mary's Cray. 3

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

2  Samuel Lewis, comp.  A topographical dictionary of England..., in four volumes, Vol. 1. (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 87, Aldersgate-Street, 1831).

3  Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex, 1855, in two parts, Part 1: Counties & Localities, pp. 304, 343. (London, England: Kelly and Co., 19, 20, 21 Old Boswell Court, Temple Bar, 1855).

St. Mary's Cray 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 St. Mary's Cray: 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 Bromley   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   -   672
1811   -   708
1821   -   874
1831   -   905
1841   -   997
1851   -   1,400
1861   -   1,464
1871   -   1,681
1881   -   1,906
1891   -   1,988
1901   -   1,894
1911   -   1,857
1921   -   2,178

St. Mary Cray Distance to

London 11.9 mi.
Canterbury 42.7 mi.
Ashford 37.0 mi.
Bromley 3.9 mi.
Chatham 18.7 mi.
Cranbrook 27.2 mi.
Dartford 5.3 mi.
Deptford 8.8 mi.
Dover 55.2 mi.
Faversham 34.4 mi.
Folkestone 50.4 mi.
Gravesend 12.6 mi.
Greenwich 7.6 mi.
Hythe 48.1 mi.
Maidstone 20.1 mi.
Margate 55.3 mi.
Milton Regis 27.4 mi.
Queenborough 28.1 mi.
Ramsgate 57.2 mi.
Rochester 16.2 mi.
Sandwich 54.3 mi.
Sheerness 28.4 mi.
Tenterden 33.6 mi.
Tunbridge 18.9 mi.
Woolwich 7.7 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

  • Gaol Returns
  • Quarter Sessions
  • Transportations
  • Summons for Pavement Repairs
  • 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
  • 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

  • Apprenticeships
  • Immigration
  • School Records
  • Notable Events
  • Nefarious Activities

Village Resources