Pigots 1840 - Kent

Cowden, Ashurst, Pembury, Speldhurst & Groombridge  


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Cowden is a small village and parish 30 miles SSE from London and 9 SW from Tonbridge, situate on rising ground on the banks of the Kent water. The church dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, is a small ancient building, with rather a handsome spire, which latter is a conspicuous object for many mile around; the living is a vicarage in the gift of Rev T HARVEY. A fair is held on 2nd August, for oxen and pedlery.


Ashurst or “the wood of ashes” is a parish destitute of anything like a village, distant about four miles from Tonbridge Wells. The river Medway which here is but a small stream, bounds the parish on the northwest. The church is a small edifice; the living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of Earl De La WARR.


Pembury or as it was formerly designated Pippingbury is a small village in the parish of its name, situate five miles SE from Tonbridge, on the road from that town to Hastings. With the exception of it being a considerable thoroughfare, it is a place of no importance. The church dedicated to St Peter, stands about a mile and a half from the village, and appears to of great antiquity. Several small streams, tributary to the Medway run through the parish.


Speldhurst is an extensive parish, on the southern confines of the Weald, adjoining the county of Sussex, and about three miles NW from Tonbridge. In this parish the springs rise which have been obtained for Tonbridge Wells so much celebrity. A branch of the river Medway, on which are several mills, courses through the parish. The hamlet of Groombridge in former times a place of much importance than it is at present is included in Speldhurst parish. It was in the possession of the WALLER’s from 1360 to 1604; and it was here that the celebrated poet of that name first saw and became enamoured of the Lady Dorothy SIDNEY. The church which is situated at the extremity of the parish, is dedicated to St Mary, and is a neat modern erection. In the dreadful storm of 1791 the old church was set on fire by lightning and the entire structure reduced to a heap of ruins – all the monuments in the interior being totally destroyed, and even the bells in the tower melted by the intense heat.


The population of these several parishes by the returns made in 1831, was as follows: Cowden 689; Ashurst 206; Pembury 1070; Speldhurst (with Groombridge and part of Tonbridge Wells), 2640.




AUSTEN Mr Edward, Lancton green

BELCHER Brymer Alex esq, Pembury

BRANDAM F H esq, Cowden

BURDEIN Miss, Pembury

BURROWS Miss Sarah, Lower green, Speldhurst

CHOLMONDELEY Rev Horace, Speldhurst

COMMERFORD Charles esq, Pembury

HARDING Miss Jane Bowen, Rusthall

HARVEY Rev Thomas, Cowden

HOARE William Henry esq, Ashurst

MAUDSLEY Mrs, Broom hill

ONSLOW Rev Arthur, Speldhurst

PARKIN Hugh esq, Ashurst lodge

POWELL Baden esq, Lancton

PRICE Richard esq, Highfield lodge

RAMSDEN Rev William, Ashurst

RELPH Lieut Thomas, Speldhurst

RICHARDS Bingham esq, Speldhurst

SAINT John esq, Groombridge

SAINT Rev John James, Speldhurst

SOLOMON David esq, Groombridge

SAXBY William esq, Ashurst

WELCH Henry esq, Pembury

WHITTAKER George esq, Pembury

WILLIS Mrs Ann, Pembury

WILSON Ford esq, Blackhurst

WOODGATE Mr Francis, Cowden

WOODGATE Rev Stephen, Pembury

WOODHOUSE General William, Edells




National School, Pembury, Jas. SIMMONS, master; Sarah SIMMONS, mistress

National School, Speldhurst, John CUTHBURT, master

PIPER George (day), Cowden

SYDNEY John  (day), Speldhurst




DAVIES George, (& ironmonger), Speldhurst

FERMINGER John, Cowden

FRY Richard, Groombridge

FRY Thomas, Pembury

PIGOTT Richard, Cowden

RHODES Thomas, Pembury




BARNES James, Pembury

HUMPHREY James, Cowden

HUNTLY Isaac, Cowden

NEALE William, Pembury

PIDDLESDEN James, Groombridge

POLLINGTON William, Groombridge

TURLEY Edward, Speldhurst




EVEREST Henry, Cowden

GOWER Elizabeth, Pembury

HALL William, Groombridge

HARRIS Thomas, Cowden

TYHURST Thomas, Speldhurst




EMERY John, Pembury

GOWER Edward, Pembury

WELLS Thomas, Speldhurst

WESTON Thomas, Speldhurst

WICKHAM John, Cowden




PIPER William, Cowden

WHITEMAN Nicholas, Groombridge




AUSTEN Benjamin, Pembury

BATCHELOR Simon, Cowden

BOTTING Ann, Speldhurst

BROWN Henry, Speldhurst

BURR Humphrey, Groombridge

GAINSFORD Joseph, Cowden

KILLICK Thomas, Groombridge

MANWARING Wm & Jas. , Pembury

SMITH Robert, Speldhurst

TURNER John, Speldhurst

WEST Jesse, Speldhurst




ASHBY Richard, Pembury

COMBER William, Cowden

DURRANT John, Groombridge

EVEREST John & James, Ashurst

HOLLANDS Henry, Cowden

HOMEWOOD John, Pembury

LANGRIDGE Joseph, Speldhurst

MELLISH James, Cowden

STANDEN William, Speldhurst




EVES William, Groombridge

HILL George, Groombridge

STRANGE Edward Jeffrey, Pembury

TAYLOR Thomas, Speldhurst




BALDWIN James, Pembury

DICKENSON Stephen, Pembury

TRICE Harriett, Groombridge




BUDGEN George, Pembury

WELFORD John, Cowden

WINNIFRITH Thomas, Groombridge




Bald Faced Stag, Robert PAWLEY, Ashurst

Black Lion, George LINFIELD, Ashurst

Camden Arms, Richard Jeffery CLOUTE, Pembury

Crown, Susan HUGHES, Groombridge

Crown, James WALLIS, Cowden

George & Dragon, Ts. BROOKS, Speldhurst

Greyhound, William HOLMES, Speldhurst

Red Lion, William TURNER, Speldhurst

Royal Oak, Edward PAWLEY, Woodsgate, Pembury




CHAPMAM William, Speldhurst

VENESS Benjamin, Pembury

WAGHORNE William, Groombridge

WALLIS James, Cowden

WALTER David, Speldhurst




ADAMS Edward, baker, Pembury

HOMEWOOD Jane, milliner, Pembury

MAYNARD John, poulterer, Speldhurst

MILLER Edward, cooper, Groombridge

TOLHURST Stephen, corn dealer, Pembury

TURNER Richard, paper maker, Ashurst




To London, George WICKING, from Cowden every Thursday and Stephen HEWITT from Groombridge every Wednesday.



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

Copyright © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason.