Kent Online Parish Clerks
Canterbury - Holy Cross, Westgate Parish
|We are sorry, there is no Online Parish Clerk for this parish.||We have no other information or data for this parish except what is accessed by or detailed on this page.||If you wish to volunteer for this post or have data you wish to contribute, please use the appropriate link on our
To view a plan of Canterbury as it was in 1825 click here. if you are using Internet Explorer hold your mouse over the lower right corner of the image. In a few minutes a "resize" square will appear. Click on that square to make the plan larger. If you are using Firefox, as soon as the image loads your cursor should be replaced with an enlarging eyeglass. Simply click on the image to make it larger.
Canterbury - Holy Cross, Westgate
Canterbury - Holy Cross, Westgate is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Canterbury and in the deanery of Canterbury. The church is named for Holy Cross with original parish registers commencing 1566.1
Holy Cross, Westgate is a parish, consisting of two parts, Holy Cross, Westgate Within and Holy Cross, Westgate Without, in Kent; adjoining St. Dunstan, and forming a western outskirt of Canterbury city.
Holy Cross, Westgate Within is in Canterbury district, and comprises 31 acres. Real property, £880. Population, 249. Houses, 48.1
Holy Cross, Westgate Without is in Bridge district, and comprises 72 acres. Real property, £2,748. Population, 816. Houses, 165.1
The entire parish is now in Canterbury borough; but only Holy Cross, Westgate Within was in it prior to the Reform Act.1
The living is a vicarage, annexed to the rectory of St. Peter, in the diocese of Canterbury. The church was rebuilt about 1381, and was recently in bad condition.1
Holy Cross church, close to Westgate, was rebuilt about 1381; and consists of three aisles, and a chancel, with a square tower. A suite of Carmelite conventual buildings, comprising church, convent, and farm offices, after designs by Pugin, on a site of thirty acres, within a high brick-wall enclosure, to cost £34,354 for the buildings alone, was contracted for in 1863 by Miss Hales, proprietress of Hales Place estate, (on which the Royal Agricultural Society of England held their show in 1860,) to be erected on her own grounds and at her own expense.1
This church was later united with the church and living of St. Peter's.2
Holy Cross, Westgate church, so called both from its' dedication and situation, stands just within the city gate, called Westgate, on the south side of the street, almost adjoining the city wall. It is a large church, but low, consisting of three isles and a chancel, having a square towar at the west, end in which are five bells.2
On the north side of the church, eastward of the porch, are the ruins of the walls of a chantry, adjoining to the walls of the church, but shut out from it, open to the air.2
In allusion to the church's name of Holy Cross, there was formerly over the porch, or entrance into it, a crucufix, or representation of our Saviour's crucifixion, as may be learnt from the Will of Richard Marley, dated 1521, who appointed to be buried in the church-yard, before the crucifix, as nigh the coming in of the north door there as conveniently might be, and ordered his executors to see gilt well and workmanly the crucifix of our Lord, with the Mary and John, standing upon the porch of the said north door; [Will is in the Prerogative office at Canterbury] but this crucifix has been many years since removed, and the king's arms placed in its room.2
There was anciently in this church a chantry, to which belonged a priest, called Thesus, masse priest, who had been accustomed to say masse, and to help to maintain divine service in this church, and was removeable at the pleasure of the inhabitants. It was not known by whom it was founded, but by tradition, with the help and devotion of the parishioners, who bought several lands and tenements to maintain this chantry; the valuation of which, as appears by the return of the commissioners for the visiting of chantries, and such like foundations, in the 2d year of Edward VI's reign, was found worth £11 9s. 8d.2
To this masse there belonged a fraternity, called from thence the fraternity of thesus masse, or Jesus brotherbed, founded by whom was not known, within this church. There were divers men and women, who, through devotion, gave to this brotherhood, some four-pence, some eight-pence yearly; for which they were named brothers and sisters; which money was bestowed upon lights in the church; and upon one masse and dirige, for the brothers and sisters departed, who were recommended to our Saviour's mercy, by the priest at masse. The names of this fraternity were entered on a bead-roll kept for the purpose. Both chantry and fraternity were suppressed, with all others of the like kind, in the 2d year of Edward VI though it appears to have been without a priest for some time before. The return of the king's commissioners, anno 2d king Edward VIth is printed at the end of Canterbury published by Mr. William Somner, noted historian and native of Canterbury in 1640; by which it appears likewise, that there were then 240 housing people within this parish, and that the salary and profits of the lands of the above chantry, had been for one year before, distributed to the poor, there not having been any priest nor any sale of the same. That there were obit lands for keeping obits; and there was lamp land given by the Will of William Harnehill, for one lamp, to burn for ever, before the sacrament in this church.2
The present church was built in king Richard II.'s reign, in the room of one of the same name, which stood over the ancient gateway of Westgate, and was of course demolished, when archbishop Sudbury, in that reign, pulled down that gate, which was become ruinated, and built the present one. The king's licence for the purchase of the ground, for the scite of the present church, and the cemetery, being dated March 10, anno 3 Richard II. [See this licence in Batt. Somn. appendix. No. lxxii.]2
This church was part of the ancient possessions of the priory of St. Gregory, in Canterbury, [Dugd. Mon. vol. ii. p. 374.] to which it was appropriated, but no vicarage seems to have been endowed in it, till archbishop Startford, by his instrument under his seal, dated at Saltwood in the year 1347, and of this translation the 14th, endowed the vicarage of this church as follows:2
John Sorges being then vicar of it, THAT it being affirmed on the part of the religious, that they had in time past acknowledge the burthens of the payments of the tenths, and other impositions whatever, for the taxation of this church, and also all ordinary burthens incumbent on it, and that they had received nothing of the fruits, rents, profits, or obventions of it, during the time of the above-mentioned vicar, although in the times of the other vicars of it, they were accustomed to have, and take from it a certain pension of money; the vicar likewise asserting, that all the commodities of the church were scarce adequate, in those times, for his sufficient maintenance, and the burthens incumbent on this vicarage; wherefore the archbishop, having duly considered the premises, and examined into the same, in the presence of the parties, and with their consent, decreed and ordained, that the above-mentioned religious and their successors should receive and have in future, the tithes of all and singular the gardens within the bounds and limits of the parish of this church, wheresoever situated; and also the tithes of a certain mill, commonly called Shefsote's mill, situated within the parish of this church; but that the said vicar and his successors, vicars there, should have and possess two small houses below the church, situated on both sides of the same, of ancient time belonging to the vicarage of it; and that the vicars of the church should likewise receive, possess and have for ever, in the name of their vicarage, the rest of the tithes, as well large as small; and also the oblations, and fruits, rents, issues and profits, all and singular, belonging to the said church, or which should belong to it in future, by any cause or occasion whatsoever, the same not being allotted to the religious, as above-mentioned. And that the vicars of the church should acknowledge and undergo at their own costs and expenses, the burthen of serving the church in divine services, and the providing and finding of bread, wine, lights, and other things, which should be necessary for the celebration of divine rites in the same, such as were to be sound and provided, either by right or by custom used in the diocese, by the rectors and vicars of places; and likewise the washing of the vestments and ornaments of the church, and the finding or producing of straw, with which the church should be strewed in such manner, and as often as should be necessary; but the burthen of rebuilding and repairing of the chancel of the church, and the finding or producing and repairing of books, vestments, and ornaments of the same, which ought or were used to be found, produced, or repaired of right or custom, by the rectors of churches, and moreover the burthen of the payment of tenths and other impositions whatsoever, which should or ought in future to belong to the said church, according to the taxation of it, or otherwise; and also the rest of the burthens, ordinary and extraordinary of it, of whatsoever sort incumbent, or which ought to be incumbent on the vicar, for the time being, and not allotted above, the religious should undergo for ever and acknowledge; reserving, nevertheless, to himself and his successors, archbishops of Canterbury, the full power of augmenting and diminishing the vicarage, if at any time it should seem expedient to him or them. [Battely's Somner, appendix, No. lxix.]
After this, both the appropriation and advowson of the vicarage of the church, continued with the prior and convent of St. Gregory, till the dissolution of it in the 27th year of King Henry VIII when coming into the King's hands, both of them were granted, among the rest of the possessions of the priory, to the archbishop and his successors, where the appropriation still remains; his grace being the present possessor of it.2
This church, or parsonage appropriate, in the ancient taxation, was valued at 100s. [Thorn, col. 2166. A copy of a composition of this vicarage is extant, in MSS. marked A. 11. sol. 38b, in Archiv. Eccles. Cath. Cantuar.]2
The heirs of George Gipps, Esq. have the present interest of this lease, under the archbishop, of this parsonage, which is worth, according to estimation, only, 14s. per annum.2
The advowson of the vicarage likewise passed by the above grant, to the archbishop and his successors; but in the time of archbishop Sancrost, anno 1681, by the mutual consent of the archbishop and of the dean and chapter of Canterbury, patrons of St. Peter's church, being that of the adjoining parish, the latter has been united to this of Holy Cross Westgate, so that the patronage is now become vested in the archbishop and dean and chapter alternately; in which state it continues at this time. However, see the account of the petitions for the uniting of these churches, and the archbishop's decree thereon, by which this parish church was united to that of St. Peter, and that it was declared that the former should for ever be the church presentative; and that the parishioners of both should resort to the same, as to their proper church; and that the patron of St. Peter's should have the right of presentation upon the first avoidance which should happen, and the patron of Holy Cross, Westgate upon the next, and so on alternately for ever. It should seem as if this decree did not effectually take place at that time, for in 1692 there were two petitions, similar to the former ones. In 1681, one from the mayor, and the other from the dean and chapter, which was followed by a decree of the archbishop, for the uniting of these churches, with the same regulations of presentation as before.2
There was an inquisition, ad quod damnum, taken at Canterbury, anno 16 Richard II to enquire, if it would be to the king's prejudice to grant to Simon Tanner, and others, a licence, to give and assign one messuage, and one garden, with appurtenances, in the parish of the Holy Cross Westgate, to Robert Raynhull, vicar of this church and his successors [Thorne, col. 2169.].2
The vicarage of Holy Cross Westgate, is valued in the ancient taxation at four pounds per annum, but on account of the slenderness of the income was not charged to the tenth. It is valued in the king's books at £13 ob. and the yearly tenths at £1 6s. 0-1/2 d. [Bacon's Liber Regis, p. 27]. In 1588 it was valued at £30. Communicants two hundred and eighty.2
There is a terrier of this vicarage, dated anno 1630, in the registry of the Consistory Court of Canterbury.2
ABRAHAM COLFE, by his will proved in 1657, gave six penny loaves, to be distributed every Lord's day, to five poor godly men or women of this parish, and one man or woman of the French congregation, inhabitants here, who attend the whole time at their respective churches, one penny loaf each, of good wheaten bread; the poor persons to be changed every Sunday; charged on the stock of the Leathersellers company, in London, amounting in money to £1 7s. And 6s. 8d. yearly, to be equally divided to the prisoners of Westgate, St. Dunstan's, and Maidstone gaols, in money; and for want of such, to those in the house of correction, in bread, charged on a house and orchard in Broadstreet. Which charities were by his Will vested in trust, with respect to the former five, and to the prisoners in the different gaols, in the vicar and churchwardens of Westgate, and with respect to the latter one, in the minister and elders of the French congregation.2
THOMAS MANERINGE gave by Will in 1592, 6s. 8d. to be yearly distributed to twenty poor men, at Easter, in money, charged on a house and orchard in Broad-street.2
JOHN SMITH, clerk, parson of Wickhambreaux, that help and means might not be wanting to such persons who were prisoners, either in the custody of the gaoler of the gaol of the city and county of Canterbury, or in the custody of the gaoler of the gaol of the county of Kent, kept in the parish of St. Dunstan, at such time as such prisoners were to suffer punishment for their offences, to bring them to repentance, and to induce them, after their trials, to lead a better life; therefore, for the instruction of such as should be in either of the said gaols, he had taken order, for the reading of divine service, and preaching of sermons to them, in manner as hereafter mentioned, with reasonable allowance for the preacher's pains, granted and confirmed, by indenture dated July 25th, in the 19th year of King Charles I anno 1638, for the performance and accomplishment of it, to Hamon Lewknor, Esq. of Acrise, and seven other feoffees and trustees and their heirs, one annuity or yearly rent of five pounds, issuing out of two pieces of marsh land, containing ten acres, called Shreives Marsh, in the parish of Wickhambreaux, to have and to hold unto the said trustees, their heirs and assigns; the annuity to be payable four times a year, at the sessions-house, in the Castle, at Canterbury, with power of distress on non-payment. The said annuity to be paid to and received by the said Hamon Lewknor and the others, upon the special trust and confidence, that they should therewith provide and procure the usual divine service of the church of England, to be read four times in the year, and a sermon to be preached at each of those times, by a licensed preacher, unto the prisoners who should from time to time be in the gaol of the city of Canterbury, as near before the several quarter-sessions in and for the city as conveniently might be; the service and sermons to be read and preached in the church of Holy Cross Westgate, if consent could be had; if not, then in some convenient chamber in the house, wherein the gaoler or keeper dwelt, and that the feoffees should likewise procure and provide the like services; and sermons should be read and preached at the like times unto such prisioners, as should from time to time be in the aforesaid gaol for the county of Kent, then kept in the parish of St. Dunstan, at the like times: the same to be read and preached in some convenient chamber of the house, where the said gaol was, for the better instruction of such prisoners; and that the feoffees should pay to such preacher, each time for his pains ten shillings, and should further deliver to him 2s. 6d. to be thus bestowed by him; six-pence to the gaoler for preparing the room, and two shillings among the prisoners so instructed; which money so to be paid to the preachers, should be paid unto them on demand, at the Register's office, for the archdeaconry of Canterbury, where it should be before-hand left for the that purpose; and that after his death the sole nomination of all such services, and preach such sermons, should be vested in the archbishop, his commissary, or the archdeacon of Canterbury, or such of them as should be living and abiding in or about the city of Canterbury, so that such readers and preachers so nominated to read and preach in the gaol of the city of Canterbury, should be living and abiding within the deanery of Canterbury, that so they might attend the same with the least trouble; and those to read and preach in the gaol of the county of Kent, in St. Dunstan's; to be living and abiding either in the deaneries of Bridge, Westbere, or Elham, or any of them; and that every such licensed preacher should have a month's notice thereof, at the least, and better to provide himself for the purpose.2
And the survivors of the said feoffees, their heirs or assigns, when they should be decreased to the number of four only, that then they so surviving, or the heirs of the survivors of them, should convey the said annuity to four others of worth and quality, living in or near the city of Canterbury, and to their heirs and assigns for ever, for the like trust, intent, and purposes, and not otherwise. And for the better preservation of this deed, that one part of it should be with the consent of the archdeacon, deposited in the registry of the archdeaconry, to remain there among the writings in the custody of the register, by which it might be kept in memory, from what deaneries the preachers were from time to time to be chosen, and that they might, in convenient time, be provided; and the register or his clerk might shew the same to such persons as should require it, or make such copies as should be desired, on payment of the usual fees, etc. for the same.2
In the year 1680, all the feoffees were deceased, excepting Henry Oxinden, then Sir Henry Oxinden, Knt. and Bart. of Wingham, who was then become the only grantee and trustee. He, by indenture, in the above year, and intended to be inrolled in chancery, assigned it over to Sir James Oxinden, of Dean, and eight others, and their heirs and assigns, in trust only, for the continuing and preserving the above trust, and for no other intent or purpose whatsoever, viz. William Mann, Esq. of Canterbury; Thomas Belk, D. D. prebendary of Canterbury; George Oxinden, Esq. L. D. of the university of Cambridge; Henry Oxinden, Esq. of Brook; Edward Nutt, Esq. of Nackington; William Kingsley, Jun. Esq. of Christ-church, Canterbury; William Courthope, Esq. of Stodmarsh, and Henry Marsh, Esq. of Kingston, near Canterbury.2
PATRONS (Or by whom presented) & VICARS
On the resignation of Christopher Hargrave, in 1679, this rectory and that of St. Peter, being the church of the adjoining parish, appear to have been united, and Charles Kilburne was inducted to both these united churches, as were his successors following.2
1 John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).
2 Edward Hasted, Canterbury: The churches within the city and suburbs, in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 11 (Canterbury, 1800), pp. 209-288 https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol11/pp209-288.
Canterbury - Holy Cross, Westgate Bibliography
-- various. 'Archaeologia Cantiana'. Publisher: Kent, England: Kent Archaeological Society, various dates. [Note: The following volumes can be found on archive.org: 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.]
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; http://www.familysearch.org.
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; http://www.familysearch.org.
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; http://www.familysearch.org.
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; http://www.familysearch.org.
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; http://www.familysearch.org.
Hasted, Edward. 'The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent; Containing the ancient 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.
Church Records, Church of England
Church Records, Non-Conformist
Parish chest records
Workhouse and Poor Law Records
Assizes and Sessions 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|
|Record Type||Dates||Archive 1
|Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
|Currently under revision|
Milton Regis mi.