Pigots 1840 - Kent

Boxley, Bearstead, Debtling, Leeds, Otham, Thornham and neighbourhoods


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Boxley is a neat village, 2 miles from Maidstone and 36 from London. The parish is chiefly noted for the manufacture of paper of a superior quality. The church is dedicated to All Saints, is of stone, and has a low square tower; it contains a curious monument of the WHYATT family, recording a tyrannical act of Richard III, towards one if its members, suspected of high treason. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the crown and the dean and chapter of Rochester alternately. A small rivulet, which rises just below the church and runs through the village, is stated to possess the property of petrifying wood (for population see after Thornham.)


Bearsted is a small parish and village, two miles and a half from Maidstone and 11 from Rochester. A pleasure fair is held here on the third Tuesday in July and a monthly meeting of the magistrates of the east division of Aylesford takes place at the “Royal Oak” for the transaction of local public business. The parish church is dedicated to the Holy Cross; the living is a discharged vicarage; in the patronage of the dean and chapter of Rochester.


Debtling is a small village, two and a half miles from Maidstone, consisting of a few scattered houses and a church; the latter dedicated to St Martin is a low building of stone with a square tower. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of the archbishop of Canterbury.


Leeds is a village, in a very small parish, five miles from Maidstone; a clear stream of water runs through the village, which gives it a clean and wholesome appearance. The church dedicated to St Nicholas, is  very ancient, furnished with a large low square tower, and a peal of bells; it stands on a hill, overlooking the village, which lies principally in a village. The living is a perpetual curacy united to that of Broomfield, in the  patronage of the See of Canterbury. Leeds is celebrated for its castle, formerly the residence of the family of FAIRFAX and is one of the most stately edifices of the kind in the kingdom; George III and his royal consort were entertained here with great splendour on their excursion to Coxheath camp, in 1779.


Otham about two and a half miles from Maidstone, is a small parish, containing a few houses, but nothing like a regular village. The church which is dedicated to St Nicholas is small but neat structure, and the spire lofty.


Thornham is a small village, but the parish is large and almost surrounding that of Bearstead. The church dedicated to St Mary, is very ancient, small and convenient, with a low square tower. The walls of Thornham or Godards castle still exist on the brow of a hill; they are thirteen feet high and three feet thick and inclose an area of about a quarter of an acre.


The localities and population of the foregoing places are as follows: Boxley and Debtling are in the Aylesford lathe, and Maidstone hundred; the former contained by the last census 1391 inhabitants and the latter 372. The other parishes are in the same lathe, but in the Eythorne hundred; population of Bearstead by the aforesaid census, 594; Leeds 613; Otham 344; and Thornham 571.


POST OFFICE – Bearstead, George WILSON, postmaster. Letters from Maidstone arrive every morning at six, and are despatched every night at eight. The letters from Leeds are left at the Park gate public house, on the Ashford road, and are taken up by the Ashford and Maidstone mails every morning and evening.


POST – Thornham. Letters arrive from and are despatched daily to Bearstead daily.


POST – Boxley, Debtling & Otham. These villages are within the delivery area of Maidstone post office.




ASHBOURN Rev. John, Linton

BEST Col. Park house, Boxley

BISHOP Mr Robert, Leeds

CLARKE Redburn esq, Bearstead

CLAYTON Rev Simeon, Otham

COBB Rev William, Debtling

COOK Mr George N, Debtling

CROFT Sir John, Millgate park

DOWSE Mr Thomas, Debtling

EVERSFIELD Mr Thomas, Boxley

FINCH Lady Maria, Boxley abbey

FOWLE Mr William, Boxley

GOLDING Mr John, Bearstead

GRIFFITH Rev Dr, Boxley

HILLS Mr George, Boxley

HILLS Mr Thomas, Thornham

LINTON Capt. (RN), Bearstead

LOMAS Rev, Thomas, Leeds

MARSHAM Viscount, Boxley house

SHIRLEY Mr William, Debtling

WAYTH Major, Bearstead

WHATMAN James esq, Winters




KNIGHT Stephen, Debtling

PEARCE Edward, Leeds




BETTS James, Otham

CLIFFORD Katurah, Frances & Rowena, Boxley

COX John, Leeds

DADD Elizabeth, Sandling

JENNER John, Bearstead




DUDDINGS Finnis, Otham

HATCHER William, Leeds

LACY William, Bearstead

LEDGER John, Leeds

LOGAN Thomas, Sandling

MASTERS Richard, Leeds

MOORCROFT William, Boxley

STEDMAN Stephen, Debtling




CROSS John, Leeds

HADLER William, Bearstead

SPARKS Henry, Boxley

SPARKS Sander, Boxley




BETTS Thomas, Bearstead

DAWSON John, Debtling




CALLAWAY William, Debtling

CHEESMAN John, Leeds

GIMSON John, Otham

ROOTS James, Boxley

WILES Charles, Otham




BUDDS John, Bearstead

COCKER Mary, Thornham

COLBROOK James, Leeds

MARTIN John, Boxley

MASTERS Mary, Leeds

PARKER James, Debtling




Artichoke, Michael FIELD, Ashford road

Bell, George NELSON, Thornham

Black Horse, John ASHFIELD, Thornham

Blue Boar, James CLAPSTONE, Otham

Bull, George LAVENDER, Pennenden heath

Cock, Edward KNIGHT, Debtling

George, Thomas POOLEY, Leeds

Gibraltar, Frances PEARCE, Sandling

Huntsman, George STYLES, Boxley

Kentish Yeoman, Michael STOKES, Bearstead

Kings Arms, John MARTIN, Boxley

Red Lion, Thomas ONGLEY, Sandling

Rose, Thomas PINE, Bearstead

Royal Oak, George WILSON, Bearstead

Running Horse, William GROVER, Sandling

Ten Bells, DANIELS, Leeds

White Horse, Robert CLIFFORD, Bearstead

White Horse, James WHITE, Bearstead




CLEMENTS Matthew, Boxley

FILMER Thomas, Boxley

WISE Biddingfield, (& brick & tile maker), Thornham




BLINKHORN John, Thornham

BLINKHORN Thomas, Sandling

FOWLE William, Boxley

TUDDENHAM Thomas, Bearstead




KNOWLES John, Bearstead

RUSSELL George, Boxley




CRUMP George, Leeds

JOY Jesse (& rope maker), Bearstead




BOTTLE Benjamin, Leeds

JENNEY William, Debtling




ALLMAN George, Bearstead

JOHNSON Samuel, Bearstead

MILLINER John, Otham

MURRELL William, Boxley

ONGLEY Thomas, Sandling

REYNOLDS Thomas, Debtling




CHARLES Wm, blanket manufacturer, Sandling

HUNT Wm, paper manufacturer, Sandling

NORTON William, clock maker, Leeds

PARKER Mary, dress maker, Leeds

ROOTS Abraham, parish clerk, Boxley

STREATFIELD Wm, boarding & day school, & registrar of births and deaths, Bearstead

SWEETLOVE John, millwright, Leeds

WELLER William, parish clerk, Debtling




To Maidstone, John COPPING and Edward EATON from Bearstead, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.


This page was last updated on 06-Mar-2021.

Copyright © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason.