Historic Manors and Estates in Minster
Kent Online Parish Clerks
by kind courtesy of Alan Makey and the Kent FHS
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Manor and Abbey of Minster anciently called Thaket Manor
As early as 670 this estate was in the possession of Egbert, king of Kent but by 1060 was possessed of the church of St. Augustine. During 30 Henry VIII. the manor and abbey were surrendered to the king and remained in the sovereign's hands until 9 James I. when the manor was granted with all its rights, members and appurtenances, excepting advowsons and patronages of churches, chapels, etc., by Letters Patent from the King, to Sir Philip Cary, William Pitt, Esq. and John Williams (citizen and goldsmith of London, later Bart. of Carmarthenshire). Probably this manor was the most important house in the Isle of Thanet, from the eleventh to the fourteenth century. Its ancient barn, 352 feet long, was not entirely destroyed until A.D. 1700, when lightning consumed its last remnant.
During 1668 the estate passed to a descendant of Sir John Williams, Bart., of the same name who died without male issue. At the end of the reign of Charles II, the daughter and sole heir of the descendant of Sir John Williams, then widow of Earl of Shelburne, carried it in marriage to Col. Henry Conyngham. Subsequently, during 1705 the manor passed by inheritance to William Conyngham, eldest son of Col. Henry Conyngham. About the year 1753 William Conyngham died without issue and the manor passed by inheritance to Henry, youngest son of Col. Henry Conyngham, he being then created baron Conyngham of Mount Charles, Donegal, Ireland. During 1756 he was created Viscount Conyngham of the same kingdom and in 1780 was created Earl Conyngham and Baron Conyngham of the same kingdom with remainder of the latter title to his sister's sons. He died without issue in 1781 and was succeeded in his title of Baron Conyngham by his nephew Francis Pierpoint Burton Conyngham, the eldest son of his sister, Mary, by her husband Francis Burton, Esq. During 1787 Francis, Lord Conyngham died leaving two sons and three daughters and in 1789 Henry, the eldest son of Francis, Lord Conyngham succeeded to the manor and was created Viscount Conyngham and Baron of Conyngham of Mount Charles, Donegal with possession of the manor for life vested in the Right Hon. Ellen, countess dowager Conyngham, widow of Henry, Earl Conyngham.
During 30 Henry VIII. this estate was surrendered to the king and subsequently, during 33 Henry VIII., was settled by dotation charter on the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury with whom the inheritance of it continues at this time. As of 1800 the lessee of the property for preceding 20 years had been Mr. Edward Pett of Cleve Court. Sub-lessees at that time were Messrs. Jessard and Paramor.
Formerly a gentleman's mansion, Powcies was pulled down and as at 1800 was a then modern farm house only, in the possession of Messrs. Henry and John Harnett.
This farm's name is derived from that of a family which possessed the land nearly 570 years ago, and from which came an Abbot of St. Augustine's. At Michaelmas, 1310, Thomas Poucyn and his wife Margeria, acquired 30 acres of land in Minster, 10s. of rent, 2 hens of rent, and the moiety of a messuage there (Kent Fines, 4 Ed. II, No. 139). Richard le Sherreve, son of Robert le Sherreve of Sherif's Court, was the person from whom Thomas Poucyn obtained livery of those lands. In the following year Thomas and Margeria acquired further possessions in Minster. At Martinmas, 5 Edward II, Richard Deryng and Richard de Chelesfeud granted to them 2 messuages, 120 acres of land £8 of rent, and four hens of rent (Kent Fines, 5 Ed. II, No. 190). This grant was limited in respect of future possessors. The heirs of Thomas Poucyn by Margeria, his wife, were to enjoy the reversion; but if Margeria had no heirs by him, this property was to pass to Johanna, wife of Baldwin Paas, and to her heirs. It is probable that Margeria and Johanna were sisters, and coheiresses of a Minster gentleman, possibly Richard Sherreve, of this Minster property; they seem likewise to have jointly inherited a messuage and 24 acres of land in Hackington and Westgate, Canterbury (Kent Fines, 5 Ed. II, No. 192). Thomas Poucyn is speculated to be a son of Thomas Pucyn and Joan at Monkton. In turn, this elder Thomas Pucyn is speculated to have been a descendant of the family of Richard Pucin and Joan who were at Stalisfield during the early 1200s, Richard Pucin having died sometime prior to November 1202. The Kent Fines for the fourth year of King John show Joan as the then widow of Richard in November 1202.
In 1313, on the morrow of St. Andrew the Apostle, Thomas Poucyn and his wife Margeria, for themselves and for Margery's heirs, made over to Ralph Abbot of St. Augustine's, and to his Church, for the sum of £20, 17 acres, 3 roods of land, and 6 acres of pasture in Minster (Kent Fines, 7 Ed. II, No. 327.). It is speculated that this transaction marked the date of their son's admittance into St. Augustine's Abbey, as a monk. Twenty-one years later, the younger Thomas Poucyn was elected Abbot of St. Augustine's, in succession to Abbot Ralph and was formally "blessed", or admitted to his high office, at the Court of Avignon on the 2nd of the Ides of June, 1334. Not long did Abbot Poucyn enjoy his dignified position for he died on the Feast of St. Augustine's Translation, Ides of September 1343 and was buried in the Abbey Chapel, at the Altar of St. Katherine.
Powcy's must have been a considerable mansion. Archbishop Reynolds granted to the elder Thomas Poucyn permission to cause Mass to be celebrated in this house. Hasted states that, about a hundred years ago [circa 1690s] there stood, beside "Powcy's" house, a small grove of oaks, the only oak grove in the Isle of Thanet. Hasted also mentions the existence of a gate-house at the entrance to the court before the mansion.
Sevenscore, Minster being the other part of the Manor of Minster consists of substantial farm house and large barns allotted to Mr. Carey, in whose successors Viscounts Falkland, the estate continued down to Lucius Ferdinand, Viscount Falkland. During the mid-1700s Viscount Falkland alienated it to Josiah Wordsworth, Esq. of London, when during 1784 it passed by inheritance from the son of Josiah Wordsworth, Esq. to his two sisters, one married to Sir Charles Kent, Bart. and the other, Anne, married Henry Verelst, Esq. in equal moieties. During 1800 those moieties were equally divided between Sir Charles Kent, Bart. and Henry Verelst, Esq.
Sheriff's Court, Minster
Dating from the time of 3 Edward VI., Sheriff's Court manor descended from Sir Nicholas Wotton to Thomas, Lord Wotton. Lord Wotton dying without male issue in or about the time of 6 Charles I., the manor passed to his four daughters. The eldest, Catherine, carried this estate in marriage to Henry, Lord Stanhope, son and heir of Philip, Earl of Chesterfield, whose widow, Catherine, Lady Stanhope, sold it to Henry Paramor. Henry Paramor was the eldest son of John Paramor of Preston, the grandson of Thomas Paramor, of Paramor Street in Ash near Sandwich. At some time, Sheriff's Court passed by inheritance to Thomas Paramor, brother of the said Henry Paramor noted above. His heirs alienated the estate to Thatcher during 1652. Thatcher continued to own and occupy the property for many years but was eventually sold to Mr. Robert Wilkins, Gent. of St. Margaret's, Rochester, who likewise possessed it for many years after. As of 1800 Sheriff's Court was in the possession and occupation of Mrs. Terry, she by some means having received the title to it from Wilkins family.
Thorne aka Thourne, Minster
Circa Henry IV. the possessors of this estate were the family of Goshall, of Goshall in Ash, having acquired it after the extinction of the family of Thorne who had held this estate since at least 29 Edward I (1300). During the same time of Henry IV. the estate passed from the Goshall family by a female heir, to the family of St. Nicholas and eventually down to 1474 and the descendant Roger St. Nicholas. By his son and heir, an only daughter was left, Elizabeth, who entitled her husband John Dynley, Esq. of Charlton, Worcestershire to the possession of it. It came at length into the possession of the family of St. John, by the marriage of John Viscount St. John with Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Rob. Furnese, whose grandson, George Viscount Bolingbroke, during 1790, alienated to Mr. Henry Wooton by whom it was still owned and occupied in 1800.
Thorne, in the Parish of Minster, is stated, in Lewis's History of Thanet, to have been the seat of a family who took their name from it. There is at present a respectable house here, the residence of Mrs. Wootton. It is distant from Ramsgate westward rather more than three miles.
Waschester was an estate formerly part of the Manor of Minster and granted to Sir Philip Carey, William Pitt, Esq. and John Williams, goldsmith. Sometime during 1620 the estate was sold by those 3 gentlemen to Jeffry Sandwell, Gent. of Monkton, who, in turn, during 1658 sold it to John Peter, M.D., Philip le Keuse and Samuel Vincent. Eventually the property returned to the sole possession and ownership of John Peters, M.D.. In 1697 Waschester passed by inheritance from Peter Peters, M.D. of Canterbury, the descendant of John Peters, M.D., Peter Peters sole heir and daughter, Elizabeth. In 1722 Elizabeth Peters conveyed it by marriage to Thomas Barrett, Esq. of Lee, who, during 1757, passed it by inheritance from his sole daughter and heir, Elizabeth Barrett, she carrying it in marriage to Rev. William Dejovas Byrche. Waschester again passed by inheritance, during 1792, to the sole daughter and heir of Rev. William Dejovas Byrche, Elizabeth, who was married to Samuel Egerton Brydges, Esq. of the Middle Temple and Denton Court, by whom it was sold in or about 1800 to Mr. Ambrose Maud, the current possessor of it.
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