Cobham and Luddesdowne Kent

History of Cobham Village

 This is the village pump

Cobham lies to the south of Watling Street (A2) near the western end of the M2. It is a rural parish comprising a village settlement surrounded by agricultural land with isolated farmhouses, large residences in spacious grounds, the village has connections with Cobham Hall, although the Hall itself is well to the northeast of the village. To have a look at a very shortend version of the guide book, please click here.

The name is Anglo-Saxon. Former spellings included Cobeham, thought to be derived from Cobba, a personal name. The earliest mention is of its church in the Chrism list of 1115 which is a copy of a much older list. The 1135 the Abbey of Bermondsey became the patron and presented the vicars until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

 From the start of the thirteenth century, the history of the parish becomes closely linked with the families who owned the land, the first of these being the de Cobhams, who acquired their lands in Cobham and Shorne from the de Quartermeres during the reign of King John. For the next 400 years, they and their heirs the Brookes dominated the village and generously endowed the church.

 As lawyers, the de Cobhams and the Brookes were connected with the Court. As soldiers they fought for the Cross in the Holy Land, and for the King in France and Britain. No doubt many men of Cobham accompanied them, but of these there is no record.

 After the Brookes, King James I gave Cobham to his cousins the Stuarts, of whom perhaps the best known is la Belle Stuart, the original Britannia on the old penny coin. The last Stuart heiress married secondly Sir Joseph Williamson, who was the First Secretary under Charles II and gave Cobham some beautiful Communion silver.

 In 1715 the lands passed by marriage to the Blighs, who were created Earls of Darnley in 1725, and it is this family which still has such strong associations with Cobham and some of whom continue to reside in the Parish.

This is a photograph of 'The Leather Bottle' Public House whic is associated with Charles Dickens



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