Hayes (Kent) History

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Hayes (Kent) History

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By the end of the Stuart period, the development of Asshleys had changed the social structure in Hayes. There were now three important houses and gradually Baston and Pickhurst Manors would become less significant. New houses like Benebroke in 1639 and Homefield were constructed although Mr Bradgate’s ‘very good house’ was demolished. The 1664 Hearth Tax recorded 48 households of different sizes which suggests a population of around 200. There were two inns, the Adam and Eve almost opposite the church and the Rose belonging to the Rudland family – where the George Inn stands today. A small Church House was given to the Parish by Robert Hall in 1606 and was used as the poor or workhouse during the century.

In the 1620s Robert Hall’s main house [Asshelys] was bought by Stephen Scott and his brother Edmund, who died in 1639. Sir Stephen, described on his tombstone as a gentleman pensioner to King Charles I, had difficult decisions to make when the English Civil War between Parliament and the King broke out in 1642. The wealthier families with land in Hayes had to weigh up the situation. Some like Arnold King, a Royalist, who owned property in the north of the Parish lost their lands and had to wait until the 1660s to recover their property.

Baston was bought by Cuthbert Burbage (Burbidge), better known for the building with his brother of the Globe Theatre in London and his connection with William Shakespeare. On his death at Baston in 1636 his daughter Elizabeth inherited. Cuthbert Burbage and his wife died in Hayes but were buried at Shoreditch in London.

In the struggles in the 1640s, her husband George Bingley retained his position as a government auditor although in 1643 he was imprisoned for a short while for non-payment of £200 demanded that year by Parliament. At the end of January, he was ‘respited until he received money due by the State for his services. Taxation was heavy and a burden on the community. Several Hayes men asked for confirmation of their payments including the Rector, Christopher Monckton, who remained during the troublesome times until his death in 1652.

George Bingley died in 1652 and Baston descended through the family to Elizabeth Lloyd who on her death in 1693 left £3 a year from the rent of Redgate Farm to teach the poor children of the village to read.

In the same year Matthias Walraven, a brewer from Rotherhithe bought Pickhurst from John Hall, who had purchased the land from Thomas Cooper. The Jackson family had ceased ownership in 1642. A Malthouse was developed there.

After the execution of King Charles I in 1649 Sir Stephen Scott left Hayes for Cheshunt where he died in 1658 but he was buried in Hayes Church. His eldest son John inherited and the property remained in the hands of the family until 1697 when it was sold to John Harrison, a felt maker.

The land of Sir Humphrey Style in the north of the parish became a subject of considerable controversy after his death in 1659 and its inheritance for her life by his widow Dame Hester Style. In a legal case in 1661 William Style claimed that she and John Scott were harming both the ancestral home in Langley Park and the estates in Beckenham, West Wickham and Hayes. William had to wait until her death ten years later before he could inherit. Various tenants farmed the land north of Pickhurst Green.


  • Edward Hasted, The History and Topography of Kent, reprint 1981
  • Canon H.P. Thompson, History of Hayes, 1935
  • Livery Records, Worshipful Company of Grocers, Guildhall
  • Patricia E Knowlden, The Town of Bromley in Kent and the Great Rebellion, BBLHS 2001
  • C Kadwell, History of Hayes, Bromley Historic Collections
  • Eliot Family Papers, London Metropolitan Archives, Acc 1017