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Kent Online Parish Clerks

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Sevenoaks St. Nicholas parish church, Kent, copyright Bill Boaden,, licenced for reuse under Creative Commons Licence cc-by-sa/2.0
St. Nicholas, Sevenoaks Parish Church

Sevenoaks Parish

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Sevenoaks is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Maidstone, and in the deanery of Shoreham.  The church is named St. Nicholas with registers commencing 1559.  Parish registers for Riverhead commence 1864.

Sevenoaks, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Kent.  The town stands on high ground, on the Sevenoaks, Maidstone, and Tunbridge railway, amid fine and varied scenery, 6 miles northwest-by-north of Tunbridge;  took its name from seven oaks, now represented by other trees;  dates from considerably ancient times;  belonged, for ages to the archbishops of Canterbury;  was exchanged by Cranmer to Henry VIII., for other property;  passed afterwards to the Sackvilles of Knole;  is near the place where Jack Cade, in 1450, defeated and slew Sir H. Stafford;  was a seat of the Kent assizes in the time of Elizabeth;  is now a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling place;  serves also as a tourists’ centre for very interesting excursions;  enjoys much amenity from the adjacency of the noble mansion of Knole, and from the neighbourhood of Riverhill House, Kippington, Beechmount, Bellevue, Ashgrove, Montreal House, the Wilderness, and other fine residences;  includes an open space, called the Vine, where famous cricket matches are played;  underwent much increase in several years prior to 1868, insomuch that a new town was then springing up;  and has a head post office with a savings banks and a money order office, two rail stations with telegraph, a banking office, several good inns, a county court house, a police station, two churches, three dissenting chapels, a literary and scientific institution, a free grammar school, an endowed national school, a village hospital erected in 1867, two suites of alms houses, and considerable other charities.

The parish church figures conspicuously on an eminence;  is mainly later English, with a tower;  and contains the grave of Farnaby, a native and eminent scholar of the time of Charles I., a monument of Lambarde the antiquary, whose family was seated at Sevenoaks House, and monuments of the Amhersts, the Bosvilles, the Dorsets, the Fermoys and others.

St. John’s church was built in 1858 and is a neat edifice.

The Independent chapel was built in 1866 at a cost of £3,200;  and is in the early decorated English style, with tower and spire.  The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1853.

The grammar school was founded in 1432, by Sir W. Sevenoake or Sennocke, originally a poor orphan of the parish;  adjoins an hospital, by the same founder, for decayed elderly trades people;  was rebuilt in 1727;  has, jointly with the hospital, an endowed income of £772 a year;  and has also five scholarships of £30 and £35 a year, a Cambridge and Oxford.  The endowed national school was founded by Lady Boswell, in the time of Charles I.;  and has about £430 a year from endowment.

A weekly market is held on Saturday;  a stock market on the last Tuesday of every month; and a fair, on 12 and 13 October.

Population of the town in 1861, 3,171.  Houses, 436.

The parish contains also the liberties of Riverhead and Weald.  Acres, 6,000.  Real property in 1860, £22,867;  of which £194 are in gas works.  Population in 1851, 4,878;  in 1861, 4,695.  Houses, 978.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £1,117 with a habitable glebe house.  Patrons, the Trustees of the late Rev. T. Curteis.  The chapelries of Riverhead and Weald are separate benefices.

The sub-district contains also the parishes of Sundridge, Brasted and Westerham.  Acres, 20,173.  Population in 1861, 9,568.  Houses, 1,872.

The district comprehends also the sub-districts of Shoreham and Penshurst and comprises 67,488 acres.  Poor rates in 1863, £11,993.  Population in 1851, 22,095;  in 1861, 22,039.  Houses, 4,300.  Marriages in 1863, 107;  births, 741 of which 44 were illegitimate;  deaths, 436 of which 142 were at ages under 5 years and 20 at ages above 85.  Marriages in the ten years 1851 to 1860, 1,046;  births, 6,773;  deaths, 3,931.

The places of worship in 1851 were 21 of the Church of England, with 6,987 sittings;  5 of Independents with 910 sittings;  7 of Baptists, with 1,433 sittings;  13 of Wesleyans, with 1,311 sittings and 3 of Wesleyan Reformers with 190 sittings.  The schools were 30 public day schools, with 2,534 scholars;  44 private day schools with 791 scholars, 30 Sunday schools, with 2,237 scholars;  and 5 evening schools for adults with 79 scholars.

The workhouse is in Sundridge.

Riverhead, a one-time village and now part of the built-up area to the north of the town of Sevenoaks, is also a civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England.  The parish has a population of about 2,500.  Riverhead contains two schools, Amherst Primary School and Riverhead Infants' School.  The parish church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin; its architect was Decimus Burton.

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

Sevenoaks 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 Sevenoaks: 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,
also available at:
Sevenoaks Local Studies & Archives, Central Library, High Street, Sevenoaks, BR1 1EX, tel. 020 8461 7170, Email:
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 Sevenoaks   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, Sevenoaks 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  


800 - a small chapel near seven Oaks in Knole Park was named "Seouenaca", the Saxon word from which "Sevenoaks" eventually devolved
1200 - a market was started in the town
1200s-1300s - St. Nicholas church was established
1381 - Peasants' Revolt
1432 - alms house a free school established by bequest in the Will of William Sevenoke
1450 - Jack Cade's rebellion
1465 - Archbishop Bourchier purchased to 100 acre estate of Knole and built the great house
1681 - Thomas Fuller a physician of considerable reputation engaged in his profession at Sevenoaks until his death in 1734
1722 - Francis Austen sets up as an attorney in Sevenoaks "with £800 & a bundle of pens". Now or later lives at The Red House, High Street, Sevenoaks.
1734 - a cricket match was reported at Sevenoaks
1746 - John Fermor, heir to Sir Henry Fermor, bt., marries Elizabeth Austen of Sevenoaks
1850 - Sevenoaks Railway established by 22 & 23 Vict. c. xlv.
1862 - Sevenoaks rail station opened to connect the Sevenoaks line to London Chatham & Dover Railways London to Dover route
1868 - a second Sevenoaks rail station was opened by South Eastern Railway
1870 - James Outram of Sevenoaks applies for and is granted a patent for "Improvements in rotary engines."
1881 - tenders for electric lighting by the Sevenoaks Local Board were invited with tenders to be sent in by 10 December

Church Registers


Parish Chest

  • Settlement Certificates
  • Removal Orders
  • Bastardy Examinations
  • Parish-assisted Immigrants
  • Churchwarden's Accounts 1745-1817
  • Overseer's Accounts
  • Surveyor's Accounts
  • Pew Rents
  • Donors' Rolls
  • Vestry Minutes
  • Bishops' Visitations
  • Parish Magazines
  • Parish Histories
  • Workhouse Records


Total Population

1801   -   2,640
1811   -   3,444
1821   -   3,942
1831   -   4,709
1841   -   5,061
1851   -   4,878
1861   -   4,695
1871   -   5,949
1881   -   8,035
1891   -   9,341
1901   -   9,741
1911   -   10,953
1921   -   10,915
The population in 1841 includes 234 persons in the Union workhouse; this workhouse was demolished prior to 1851.

Sevenoaks Distance to

London 19.9 mi.
Canterbury 38.5 mi.
Ashford 30.9 mi.
Chatham 16.1 mi.
Cranbrook 19.5 mi.
Dartford 11.2 mi.
Deptford 16.9 mi.
Dover 49.8 mi.
Faversham 30.7 mi.
Folkestone 44.4 mi.
Gravesend 14.3 mi.
Greenwich 15.9 mi.
Hythe 41.8 mi.
Maidstone 14.9 mi.
Margate 52.4 mi.
Milton Regis 24.3 mi.
Queenborough 26.4 mi.
Ramsgate 53.7 mi.
Rochester 14.8 mi.
Sandwich 50.3 mi.
Sheerness 27.2 mi.
Tenterden 26.2 mi.
Tunbridge 10.6 mi.
Woolwich 15.9 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

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

Tax Lists

  • Poll Tax 1790-1859
  • Subsidy Rolls and other Poll Tax 1373-1666
  • Hundred Roll 1279
  • Window Tax
  • Hair Powder Tax
  • Land Tax Assessments 1780-1831
  • Land Tax Assessments 1799-1805

Other Records

Village Resources