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The La(u)nce family have links with Hartley going back to at least the c14th. But they are mainly associated with Ash parish; they owned North Ash Farm from the 15th to the 19th century. A couple of fields at the south end of Church Road belonging to this farm - Kitchen Croft and Bazes Shaw, belonged to this farm.
William Launce of Ash dated 1 March 1551
(this will is written in the 3rd person)
He bequeaths his soul to God and body to be buried in Ash Churchyard.
John Lance his son - £10 when full age of 21
Agnes Lance his dau - £6.13.4 when full age of 20
Johan Lance his dau - £6.13.4 when full age of 20
Margaret Lance, his dau - £6.13.4 when full age of 20
Sibell Lance, his dau - £6.13.4 when full age of 20
James Lance his son - 2 yearling steer and 6 sheep
Dorothy Carpenter his dau - 2 sheep
Robert Carpenter - 1 sheep
John Lance, son of his brother John - 1 sheep
Thomas Barnard - 1 sheep
Robert Lance - 1 sheep
Alice dau of William Lance - 1 sheep
Parnell his wife and Wm Lance son - all leasehold land and personal estate
As to lands in Ash in elsewhere. Parnell his wife to have tenement where he dwells and tenement in Roger Strete which he purchased of John Dawe, for her life with remainder to son James, remainder to son William. Tenement and croft where onle Jennyns lives to William his son.
Witnesses: Sir William Miles, parson of Ash, Johan Hodsoll, and Thomas Kettill the elder.
John Lance of Ash, husbandman, 12 July 1555
He leaves his soul to Almighty God, the blessed lady and all the company of heaven and body to be buried in Ash Churchyard.
John his son - tenement & garden in Nox Street
James his son - £6.13.4 to be paid by John
Witnesses: Thomas Bettell of Asshe, James Launce of Asshe and William Launce of Stanstede.
James Lawnce of Ashe, yeoman, 22 October 1592
He leaves his soul to Almighty God and body to be buried in Ash Church.
Ash Parish Church - 20 shillings "towards the building of certain seats in the said church to be planed (?) there by the discretion of the churchwardens and sidesmen there"
Elen his wife - household stuff in his house in Ash, except malt green and mustard green querns and other specified items.
Thomas his son - items excepted above
William his son - £5, to be paid a year after his decease
Richard his son - £5, to be paid when 25
Thomas and James, his sons - remainder of personal estate
Land at Ash, Stansted, Westerham, Gravesend, Hartley and Kemsing. Son Thomas to get messuage called North Ash in occupation of the said Thomas and lands in Ash, Kemsing and Hartley. Son James to get lands and tenements in Westerham and Stansted. James son of James to get all lands in Ash which he has purchased of Henry and William Refe. Son William to get 3 tenements which he owns in Ash in the tenure of Anthony Robynson, John Lamord and William Johnson. Son Richard to get land in Gravesend.
(X) James Lance
Witnesses: (X) Thomas Comfort, (X) William Kipps, (S) Henry L...sdon, (S) Thomas Comfort jun, (S) William Johnson, (S) Richard Clarke
Thomas Launce the elder of Ash, 17 September 1624
Commends soul to Almighty God, body to be buried in Ash Churchyard.
Thomas Lance, 2nd son of eldest son James -
£5 out of £39 owned him by James
Mary and Jane, daus of James - £10 each out of said sum of £39
Thomas Lance, his youngest son - his house and land at Pettins, Ash in occuption of said Thomas Lance and Edward Bell. Also use and occupation of woods called Wheatyerse Woods
William Lance, son of said Thomas - £5
Sara Lance, dau of said Thomas - £5
Thomas Lance, son of said Thomas - £5
Jesper Lance, his 2nd son - his 3 houses at West Yoke in Ash and land belonging in occupation of William Johnson and John Lambert. And also use and occupation of 2 pieces of ground called Beadsall Croft and nexk of wyneyard in Ash during the lease and another piece of land called Church Grove. Also residue of personal estate. Appointed executor.
(X) Thomas Lance
Witnesses: (X) William Johnson, (S) Steven Swanne (S) William Brown
Proved 22 October 1624.
William Launce the elder of Ashe, yeoman, 1 June 1664
Leaves soul to Almighty God.. "And my body I yield to the earth from whence it was taken" to be buried at the discretion of executors.
Margaret dau, wife of Jn Letchford jun - £50, one feather bed, one feather bolster, 2 pillows "being on the bed whereon I now lie", a third of his linen after wife's decease, one joined chest at the foot of maid's (?) bed.
John Letchford, son in law - £10
James Launce, son of brother Robert - 50s
Joan Launce, dau of brother Robert - 20s at her full age of 18 years
Poor of Ash - 20s
Thomas Terry, servant - 5s if still with him at his decease
John Adgoe, servant - 5s if still with him at his decease
Sarah Launce, servant - 5s if still with him at his decease
William Launce, son - £50
William Launce son and Dorothy dau - remainder of personal estate, also appointed executors
(X) William Launce
Witnesses: (S) Edward Best, (S) Edmund Hodsoll, (X) Jane Wyburne (X) John Adgoe
James Launce of Ash, yeoman, 25 September 1729
Leaves soul to Almighty God, body to be buried at discretion of executors.
"Item: I do give and devise all and every my messuage, lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever with their appurtenances, situate, lying and being in the parish of Ash aforesaid and in the parish of Hartley or elsewhere in the said county of Kent unto my only son James Launce"
Elizabeth, dau, wife of John Lake - 1s
James, son - remainder of personal estate
(S) James Lance
Witnesses: (S) Samuel Attwood; (S) Richard Dunstan; (S) Michael Page
Proved 18 June 1739