NONINGTON, in the hundred of Wingham and Eastry, hath diverse places in it of considerable repute.
The first is Fredville, called in old deeds Froidville, from its bleak and eminent situation. Times of an elder inscription, represent it to have been the possession of Colkin, vulgarly called Cokin, who it is probable erected the ancient fabrick, and brought it into the shape and order of an habitation; this family was originally extracted from Canterbury, where they had a lane which bore their name, being called Colkins lane, and likewise had the inheritance or propriety of Worth-gate in; that city. William Colkin founded an hospital near Eastbridge, which celebrated his name posterity, and was called Colkin’s hospital; he flourished in the time of king John, and was a liberal benefactor to the hospitals of St. Nicholas, St. Katharine, and St. Thomas, of Eastbridge, in Canterbury, as is recorded by Mr. William Somner, in his survey of that city. But to proceed; John Colkin died possessed Fredvill the tenth of Edward the third, and in his posterity was the title resident until the latter end of Richard the second, and then it was conveyed to Thomas Charlton; and he by a fine levied the second of Henry the second transplants his interest into John Quadring, in whose name it made its abode, until Joan Quadring, the heir general of Thomas Quadring, this man’s successor, carried the title along with her to her husband Richard Dryland; and he about the latter end of Edward the fourth, alienated it to John Nethersole; who by fine levied in the second year of Richard the third, conveyed it to William Bois, Esquire, descended from I. de Bosco or de Bois, so written in some old copies of the Battle Abby roll, and in others R. de Bosco or de Bois, who entered into England with William the Conqueror, which William had issue Thomas Bois, who dying in the reign of Henry the seventh, left two sons ; to Thomas his eldest he devised Fredville, with his estate there; to William his youngest, Bonington, and the lands annexed to it: so that the eldest had the fairest, and the youngest the ancient scat; from Fredville are streamed out first the Bois’s of Hode, the second branch of the eldest house; Secondly, those of Betshanger; Thirdly, Bois of Sandwich issued out from those of Betshanger. From Bonington are extracted the Bois’s of Willsborough, being the second branch of the second house; secondly, Bois of Offington, and thirdly, Bois of Hawkherst. From Thomas Bois abovementioned is the title of Fredville in a successive line now devolved to his successor John Bois, Esquire.
Elmington – a second place of note in this parish, lit was made eminent in former times, by being parcel of the patrimony of Condye of Condies hall in Whitstable, who likewise had some interest in Fredville by purchase from Colkin, which William Condy passed away to Thomas Charlton abovementioned; which William was son and heir to John de Condy, who. Died possessed of Elmington, the fifth of September, in the forty-second year of Edward the third, and by descendant right was invested in the propriety of this place, but enjoyed it not long; for he dying without issue, Robert Grubbe, who had married Margaret, sister and co-heir of the above said William, entered upon the possession. But he likewise concluding in two daughters and co-heirs, Agnes, one of them, by marrying with John Isaack annexed this to his inheritance, and his successor James Isaack, about the latter end of Henry the seventh, conveyed it to George Guldford, Esquire, who not long aster transmitted the interest he had in this place, by sale, to Betenham , in whom the possession was but of a frail and narrow continuance, for from this family, a vicissitude like the former, about the latter end of Henry the eighth, carried it away to Sir Christopher Hales, and his son Sir James Hales, not long after, demised it to William Bois, Esquire, ancestor to Joseph Bois, of Fredville, Esquire, who now holds the instant signory of it.
St. Albans’ is a third place in Nonington, which exacts our notice; it is called so because it was wrapped up in the revenue of the abby of St. Albans, and did partake of the like privileges as that monastery enjoyed; a scale of which you may read of, recorded in the late printed Monasticum Anglicanum, too tedious here to recapitulate. It was in elder times called Esole, and was held by one Edmund de Akeholt, in knights service, whose arms in Nonington church, (videlicet, quarterly argent and azure, ever all a bend componee, or and gules) are yet visible and obvious. This manor upon the general dissolution, in the reign of Henry the eighth, being found involved in the patrimony of the above said abby, was in the thirty-second year of that prince, granted with all its appendages to Sir Christopher Hales, and his son James Hales, about the beginning of Edward the sixth, conveyed it to John Stacker, who in the fifth year of that prince alienated it to Sir Thomas Colepeper of Bedgbery, from whom, not long after the same mutation transplanted it into Sir Thomas Moile, and he demised the propriety of it by sale to Thomas Hamon, Esquire, ancestor to Anthony Hamon, Esquire, who now enjoys the present signory of it.
At the borough of Woolwich, in this parish, is a place called Oxendens, which was the original seminary and fountain of those of that name and family in this county.
Ratling is another place in Nonington of principal note; it contributed in times of a more venerable date both feat and surname to a family of that appellation. It would be too tedious and voluminous a digression to recite all those whom ancient records represent to be the possessors of this place; I shall only take notice of Sayer de Ratling, son of Sir Robert de Ratling, who was the last of the name who enjoyed it, and had it in possession at his decease, which was in the tenth year of Richard the second, and left Joan his daughter and heir, who was married to John Spicer, from whom the Spicers, who were owners of the manor of Sherford in Monks Horton in this county, were collaterally extracted; but it appears they were of no long residence at this place; for this man and his name together went out in co-heirs; so that Ratling fell under the dominion of a new proprietor; for by Cicely, one of them, it was knit to the demean of her husband John Izaack, of Blackmanberry, in Bredge, and by this alliance the title became tied to this family, till Edward Izaack, this man’s grandchild, in the reign of Henry the seventh, by sale collated his right in it on Sir John Phineux, whose successor in the next age after, alienated it to Nevinson ; from whom not so many years are yet elapsed, but that almost our memory may attack the time of the sale. By the same fatality, the possession and title was rolled into the enjoyment of the present owner Sir William Cowper.
Oldcourt is a third place which may exact our account; it was anciently parcel of the demean of a good old family, who derived their sirname from the parish of Goodneston, vulgarly called Gonston, by no far distance removed from this place, and continued in an uninterrupted series, from John, William, and Robert de Godneston, of whom there is frequent mention in private evidences, and who flourished in the reigns of Henry the third, and Edward the first, as their dateless deeds do intimate, until the reign of Edward the fourth, possessed of this place, and then it went by Edith, daughter and heir of Edward Godneston, in whom the name was entombed, to Vincent Engham, descended from the Enghams, or Edinghams of Wood-church, from whom it went away by sale to John Sydley, Esquire, auditor to Henry the seventh, who added much to the splendor and magnificence of the Sydleys of Southfleet, by those additional improvements, with which he encreased the patrimony of that family. When this name went out, the next family which succeeded in the possession of this place by purchase, was Wild of Canterbury, descended originally from the Wilds of the county of Worcester, where they are entituled to an extraction of deep antiquity, whose successor, Sir John Wild of Canterbury, in that age we call our fathers, passed away his right in Oldcourt to Mersh, who holds the instant fee-simple of it.