These are Elizabeth Selby's comments on Greenstreet and Claxfield in her book "Teynham Manor and Hundred (798 - 1935)" - published in 1935.
p.20: Vicars of Teynham Church: “1663. Henry Eve. Also Vicar of Linsted, Midley and Buckland. Known as the “Farming Doctor” (D.D.?). He owned two farms in Linsted, two in Buckland, two or three in Tenham, estates at Newington and in London, “enough, the people say, for any three farmers in this country, tho’ they sit up late and rise early”. (Archaeologia, Vol. XX, p.187) He lived at Sundries in Linsted, then called Edwards, and was buried at Linsted in 1685. He was a profiteer of the Commonwealth period and frightened the Vicar of Lynsted out of his Parish and probably his predecessor at Teynham also.”
p.25: St Andrews: The site of this building was given by Mr.James Lake, of Newlands, and it was called the Working Men’s Club and Institute. It is situated on the hill in Greenstreet, Teynham. In 1869 it was altered to form a Chapel of Ease in connection with St. Mary’s, Teynham, for the use of the dwellers in Greenstreet, as the population had so much increased. It was enlarged in 1872, and the seating and a harmonium were provided by the congregation. £29.5 used to be raised annually by pew rents; these are not now paid. There are brasses to Mr James Lake, Dr. Pritchard and James Frederick Honeyball.”
This building was demolished after subsidence rendered it unsafe. There is an open space used as a car-park today.
pp 28-29: Wars, Rebellions, Crimes and Manor Fines: "The inhabitants of Tenham Manor and Hundred, from their situation on the main London road, became involved in the various Kent Rebellions of the 14th and 15th centuries.
Even before that era we get a glimpse of the easy way in which peaceful inhabitants found themselves involved in the Barons' wars. One John de la Haye went through Tenham and the neighbouring Hundreds gathering recruits for King Henry III's attack on the Barons at Tunbridge Castle. Later the tide turned, and the Barons had some success. William de Stopindone took 100s. as a fine for the act from the people of Tenham - a fine levied by the Earl of Gloucestershire, a leader on the Baron's side. (Furley's History of the Weald).
The Hundred of Tenham seems to have shared the general spirit of unrest prevalent in England in the middle of the 14th century.
In 1341 John Peyforen, John de Frogenale, Simon Goldsmith de Lynsted and John Cotyng of Byx (Bax Farm, Tong) and other broke into the houses of Catherine, wife of David de Strabolgy at Tenham, Doddington and Lynsted, and other parishes, carried away goods and assaulted Thomas Vyne of Canterbury, their servant. These were all landowners, and the punishment was a fine of 1 Mark at Westminster by William Scott and other judges. (Patent Rolls, 1341).
Again, in 1341, Richard de Hakeneye, Citizen of London, complained that John de Ancilla, Lumbard, John Lapyn of Tenham, Stephen le Tailleur of Faversham, Sampson Shitequart of Tenham, Roger Lapyn, John Cotyng and other broke into his house at Doddington, carried away his goods and assaulted William Shaple his servant. Fine was 2 Marks "paid in the haraper". (Patent Rolls, 1341) These men again were landowners and appear in the Subsidy Rolls of that date.
There is no doubt the whole of North-East Kent was deeply involved in "Wat Tyler's Rebellion"."
[Archeaologia Cantiana, Vol.III: Ch.XXIV, p.95-96: The Great Rebellion in Kent:
"Hundred of Teynham. The Jurors say upon their oath, that Thomas Noke feloniously killed JAMES FRENCH, at MILENDE, in the country of Middlesex, on Friday next after the feast of the Holy Trinity, in the fourth year of the reign of King Richard the Second (14th June, 1381).
Also, they say that John atte Forstall, of Tenham, feloniously made insurrection at TEYNHAM, against the King and his people, on Monday, the morrow of the Holy Trinity, in the foresaid year, and so continued till the feast of St.Swithin, in the year aforesaid (from 10th June to 15th July, 1381).
Also, they say that john Beaugraunt, of Tenham, feloniously made insurrection against our Lord the King, and his people, at TENHAM, on the day and year aforesaid.
Also, they say that Richard Frere, of the hundred of Milton, feloniously made insurrection against our Lord the King, and his people, and feloniously entered the manor of TENHAM , and there burnt the court rentals, and other muniments found therein.
Also, they say that the foresaid John atte Forstall, john Beaugraunt, and Richard Frere, were insurrectionists, and in warlike manner made insurrection at TENHAM, against our Lord the King, and compelled his son, and others there, to rise in insurrection."
In "Jack Cade's Rebellion" (1450), from the list of the rebels, it appears that ll the towns and villages of East Kent took part. Some rebellion under the same leaders seems to have taken place earlier, for in the Patent Rolls for 1449 a general pardon is issued to "Mortimer" and others who gathered against the Statutes of the Realm. Included in the list are the Constables of Tenham, William Norden, John Colier and William Aythehurst, "Yoman", and the rest of that Hundred. The Constables appear to have called out the inhabitants on that occasion. John Cambray (of Cambridge, Lynsted), Roger Walter, Lawrence Byx and John Byx (Lynsted), John Walter (of "Lynstede"), Thomas Wolgate (Lynsted), Robert Brewer, John Frend, Richard Catelet (of Teynham). William Canon and Richard Reyson, Mariners of Tenham, are also included in the pardon.
In 1450 "Jack Cade's"Rising occurred. Many of the principal inhabitants took part. William Appoldrefeld, Gent. (of Bedmangore, Lynsted) of the Hundred of Tenham, was pardoned in 1471. Most of the inhabitants of Iwade are mentioned. Bartholemew Bourne of Doddington, Lawrence Roder, John Cotyng, Richard Bedyll (?Bogyll), John Dene, Adam Greenstrete, William Marlere and Thomas Best, most of them landowners, are included in the pardon. William Canon and Richard Reyson appear again, but William Canon seems to have been a victim of a later rising when his house was burgled by William Parmynster (Smythe) who called himself "Second Captain of Kent" and who met his followers at Tenham and agreed to spoil the Lords temporal and spiritual and levied war on Appuldre. (Patent Rolls, 1451.)
In 1471 general pardon was issued to Richard Downe, and in 1478 to John Symfonet, tyler of Tenham.
William Aytherst, one of the Constables, seems to have disappeared, as he did not appear at Court to answer about a debt of 40/-.
In 1453 an affray occurred at "Salenden" by "New Crosse" in Teynham (Teynham Street). One Gabriel Shamlet of Savey (?Savoy) was riding to Canterbury and wounded John Roos with a lance. Pardon was issued to John Roos who said Gabriel followed him to the corner of a lane (?Marsh Lane) and then fell on his sword and died! (Patent Rolls, 1453)
During the Wars of Charles I and the Commonwealth times, the whole Manor and Hundred were evidently in confusion [footnote: There is no doubt the majority of inhabitants were supporters of the king.] On May, 1645, Christopher Roper fourth Lord Teynham was asked to report at the House of Commons as a recusant, and in 1648 he had to agree to the sale of a portion of his lands sequestered for recusancy."
"(p.29) Simon Greenstreet and Leonard Smith are mentioned as suspects (of recusancy) in 1656".
[Note: The family of one member of our Society Committee signed Charles I death warrant! A bad move it turned out too!]
p.30: 1603 - Manor Court. Joseph Wyllocke, of Bumpit, was fined 3/4 for making an “affraye att Greenstreet” upon one William Donnard, and was further declared outlaw at the suit of one George Mykes of Canterbury for two or three years.”
p.31: “In 1837 occurred what is called the “Courtenay” Riot. Courtenay was really a man called John Nicholas Thom and was said to be mad, but he undoubtedly obtained a following in all the villages of North-East Kent and old people have told me they remembered seeing him march through Greenstreet with a large following armed with scythes, sickles, flails, sticks, etc., on their way to a meeting in Sittingbourne. His portrait was in many houses fifty years ago, and he was looked on as a deliverer by the agricultural labourer who was then suffering from bad times.
p32: The Great War (First World War - 1914-18): “Most of us who lived in the London Road remember the enormous traffic of the first few weeks, starting in August 4th quite early with cars laden with reservist sailors cheering on their way to join their ships at Chatham , and the poor little Boy Scouts who were set to guard each telegraph pole!
Many of us remember a rumple at night, and forty London buses on their way to the front in 1914.
The so-called “Russians” were seen passing Teynham Station - in this case reservist Marines on their way to Deal.
Again, in 1915 a rumble awoke us and was found to be the first Zeppelin raid which gave us our first shock of bombs dropping, this time over Sittingbourne.
A worse occasion was the Fokkers dropping bombs over Chatham in 1917. The sound of air raids became too painfully common. For a whole week in 1917 the familiar “Take cover - air raid” was heard every night, but no bomb was dropped in any of the parishes.
....Our windows rattled for days before the July 1st attack on the Somme in 1916, and the rumble of guns could be heard any still summer evening for four years.
The Armistice came to a tired neighbourhood in the throes of a terribly bad influenza epidemic, but I well remember starting for Glovers Hospital just after the maroons had gone at 11 o’clock on November 11th and seeing aeroplanes from Eastchurch flying to and fro with long streamers floating behind, and all the people of Greenstreet running out of their homes, waving their hands and shouting, “Is it really true?”
p57-58: "Greenstreet is part of the old road from London to Dover, usually spoken of as Watling Street.
Two miles of this road lay in Teynham Manor, the western mile being known as "Greenstreet". This road divides the parish of Teynham from Lynsted. "Watling Street" was the old Roman road. Harris, writing in 1719, describes the remains of it at Greenstreet going east as follows:-"It shews itself visibly at Greenstreet.-Leaving the common road on the right hand, it runs along with a fair bank rising in the middle and falling on each side for a considerable length." Possibly this is the wide path on the north side, which was a rough banked-up path when the writer first remembers it forth-five years ago.
The ancient name of this road, as "Cay Street" [Note: Now Key Street and Keycol hill. Also see Subsidy Roll] and Caycoll Hill" at Newington, is alluded to by Harris who says tradition connects it with Caius Julius Caesar.
By an old will, Thomas Byx (1483) left a sum of money to repair the road between Bogil and "Clay Street". Perambulation of Faversham boundaries of the time of Edward I alludes to this road as "Key Street" (Hasted). It was called Casing Street at Bexley in 814. (Archaeological Cantiana, Vol. XLVI, p.60).
Dr. Gordon Ward has given me particulars from a small parchment in private hands, apparently 13th century, headed as follows:-
"Memorandum what Lord john of Cobham knight holds on the North side of KAYSTREET." Presumably the properties, at present unidentified, were in the neighbourhood of Cobham.
Wallenberg (Kentish Place Names, p.349) mentions "Caseru Street" as a boundary of land near Canterbury and "Caseru burnam" apparently near Faversham. It seems the road was known at all events from Canterbury to London by the same name, possibly "Kasern" or "Casern Straet" (=Ceasars Street), as Wallenberg suggests at Canterbury though he does not connect the name with "Key Street" near Sittingbourne.
In MSS.33992, British Museum, Streatfield gives an account of the method of collecting money for the repair of this road. He says by an Act of 10 Queen Anne a cess of 6d. was collected from the respective parishes on the road, but that "notwithstanding it was ruinous and unsafe".
In the 4th year of George II (1730) an Act was passed for Aid by a Land Tax on the principal inhabitants of Kent. £1,019 was to be raised. Trustees were appointed to receive tolls and borrow money on securities, etc.
The tax was again raised for the same sum in the following year. In spite of this the road was in such a bad state after the Napoleonic Wars that the coaches sank to their axles in mud or dust, and many inhabitants used the "Lower Road", i.e. the road through Barrow Green. (Related by many old inhabitants.)
This latter road is traditionally the "Old Road" and may well have been an ancient track. It led from the ancient town of Faversham to Tong Castle, traditionally supposed to have been the home of the British King Vortigern.
At the west end of the village, beyond the house now called Melrose, was the "Rope Walk", a usual adjunct to a village when ropes were made by the rural population.
New Gardens and Frognal land occupied the rest of the northern part of Greenstreet until the last century, when shops and cottages were built.
The east end of Greenstreet was know as "Cellar hill", on both sides of the street. On the top of the hill lay Brewson's Farm, an old half-timbered house use as a dame's school till 1880 (?) when S.Andrew's was built. (The farmhouse was pulled down as being past repair and the present Brusons House built by James Lake for Dr.Pritchard about 1880.)
The name seems to have come from John Brewster or his forbears who owned it and whose heiress sold it. Before 1735 it appears as Brewsters and in that year as "Brusons" in the Rate Book. It appears to have been a portion of a farm of 25 acres at Barrow Green, called Hays, and was owned by Edward Hasted in 1740, and later belonged to William Fairbeard, Nurseryman, and was occupied by James Flood who was Registrar in the Parish.
S.Andrew's Church was built in 1880 (?) largely by the generosity of Mr.James Lake of Newlands. I have heard that when the foundations were dug a group of bodies was found; local opinion said it looked as if "there had been a fight there", but I have heard nothing to prove this.
A few old properties on the Teynham side of Cellar Hill are mentioned in the 1740 Manor Rolls.
The mention of 6/4 rates paid in 1854 by the "European Electric Telegraph Co." for telephone wires and tubes was the beginning of a new appearance in the old road. The road is now a mass of telephone and telegraph wires both above and below ground.
The motor bus service, now such a matter of course, was only started in 1914 by Messrs. Standen of Sittingbourne."
A deed of the 2nd year of Henry VI (1424) (Manuscript Room, British Museum) calls this property Shrobbache. It is described as abutting on lands of Richard Greenstreet junior, William Dene, Richard Thome, Agnes Bix and Roger Porage (Pordage). It seems to have included a house and land, and the property passed to Michael Cotyng on the death of Laurance Byx. The witnesses were Laurence Cambray,-. Cotyn, Richard Bogyll, John Byx and William Dene (probably of Dane's Garden, Cellar Hill).
In 1662 it was still called Sheerbank, and consisted of Sheerbanks, Sheerbanks Croft and another portion of land apparently the "orchard behind the Smith's Forge" and belonged to Simon Height.
In the 1740 Manor Roll it is still called Walnut Tree, alias Sheerbank, and belonged to one Thomas Tomkins who lease it to Edward Baker.
The "Walnuts" was built by Thomas Pembury, blacksmith, in 1825.
NEW HOUSE FARM. This farm belonged to the Pordage family (of Rodmersham), and is the boundary property mentioned in the Sheerbank deed of 1424. It is then a minor and her ward. The item runs as follows:-
"A third part of one messuage called Newhouse, containing by estimation XX acres now in the occupation of William Doane (?Downe)."
In the 1740 Roll it is described as a messuage and 120 acres and lands at Moyse hill. It then belonged to John Smith Barling who had bought it from the heirs of Thomas Taylor who owned it in 1662. It is now the property of the hears of the late Mr.James French who had succeeded his father there.
Lesser properties in Greenstreet were:-
CLAXFIELD. This farm is at the western edge of Lynsted, near the London Road. In the 1327 Subsidy Roll various persons known as "de Claxfield" paid subsidies, but is mentioned in a 15th century Manor Roll as Claxfeldestane. In the 14th and succeeding centuries it was the possession and home of the Greenstreet family, whose name, spelt Grensted, Grynsted, Grenstede, Grensteyde, is to be found all over Kent, though as the name meant "the green farm" possibly they were not all related. It is difficult to determine if the name of the family or the name of the "street" came first, as apparently the old name was Kay Street or Clay Street.
A John de Grenestrete was Prior of Rochester in 1314, and he appears to have had brothers Richard de Grenestrete and Roberto de Grenestrete of Bromleye and Robertus de Grenestrete of Tenham Hundred, who are mention in a deed of 1328.
The names of Thomas de Grenestrete and Roberto de Grenestrete appear in a Subsidy Roll of 1339. A John Grenestrete was Manor Reeve in 1467.
This was possibly the John Grenestrete of Claxfield who died in 1494, leaving property in Lynsted and Eastling. His grandson John bought Plumford and Painter Forstall in Ospringe about 1566, and his son Peter inherited Huntingfield as well as some of the Lynstead property. The family held Claxfield until 1674 when James Greenstreet sold it to Christopher Clarke of Frognal.
They bore for arms Barruly of 8 pieces argent and azure on a canton of the 2nd an eagle displayed with 2 necks or.
There was a Simon Greenstreet of Teynham Hundred, a "suspect" under the Commonwealth, probably father or brother of the James who was borsholder in 1657 and 1658 and sold the property.
Laurence Greenstreetwas churchwarden was Churchwarden for Teynham in 1609, and John Greenstreet in 1622 and 1623.
The Greenstreets owned property from Claxfield to Selling and remained an important family, though they died out in their original home. Hasted says several of the family are buried in the middle aisle of Lynsted Church. There is a tomb in the Churchyard to Henry Greenstreet died 1752, aged 18", and another "Henry Greenstreet died 1742."
There is still standing at Claxfield a fine old half-timber farmhouse, certainly dating from the late 15th century, which appears to be on earlier foundations.
In 1740 the farm belonged to George Smith, and in 1846 it was the property of George Wildash. It now belongs to Mr. Potter Oyler.