The Middletons have left wills from Hartley, Ash, Longfield and Nurstead. The Middletons appear to have come to Hartley in the c17th as tenants of Hartley Wood Farm (Hartley Manor), and continued to be until 1734. The family connection continued until the end of the century, as members of the family were freehold owners of the 2½ acre smallholding called Hartley Field in Church Road.
John Middleton of Longfield, 1511
Source: Testamenta Vetusta vol 2.
The fact he left a torch to Hartley Church would suggest some connection, possibly meaning he owned land here.
He leaves his soul to God and body to be buried in the chapel of St Mary in Longfield Church.
"To the maintenance of the rood light in the said church" - a cow.
Margaret his wife to spend 20 shillings on torches to burn at his funeral and month's mind. After then 2 of the torches to go to Longfield Church, 1 to Nursted Church and 1 to Hartley Church. Three priests are to sing at his burial and 4 at his month's mind.
Will of William Middleton, senior of Nursted (1570)
Reference: CKS DRb/PW9
Only family members mentioned in his will are listed here.
1. William Middleton = ?
2. Margaret = John Wood
Only three estates at Nursted mentioned.
Dated 1 May 1569
Will of William Middleton of Nursted, yeoman (1602)
Reference: CKS DRb/PW19
He leaves his soul to God and body to be buried in Nursted Churchyard.
To wife Silvester - all his lands with reversion to sons Abraham and Robert.
To daughters Jane, Sarah and Dorothy - £10
To daughter Elizabeth - 10s
To son William - £4 etc........
Dated 25 March 1602
Will of Nicholas Middleton of Longfield (1643)
Reference: CKS DRb/PW31
Mentions lands in Longfield (to son Francis) and a little tenement in Ash (to son James).
Wife Joan. Sons John of Tonbridge, Nicholas of Stone, Henry of Meopham, Thomas of Ash, James of Longfield, Francis (? eldest). Also son in law Philip Overy of Swanscombe.
Will also mentions Thomas Barrow of Longfield "my loving neighbour", to be overseer.
Will of John Middleton of Longfield, yeoman (1660)
Reference: TNA PROB 11/302
He leaves his soul to Almighty God and body to be buried in Longfield Churchyard
To son Nicholas: house and land in Longfield
To son John: 5s
To son George: 5s
To daughter Alice Lawrence: 5s
To daughter Joan Burton: 20s
To godson Nicholas Middleton of Longfield: 20s
To godson Henry Middleton of Hartley: 20s
Each daughter and son Nicholas to have such of his household goods as are in their possession.
Son Nicholas to be executor.
Dated: 4 November 1660
Proved at London: 28 November 1660
Inventory of Henry Middleton of Hartley (1666)
Reference: TNA PROB 4/14987
An inventory of all the goods and chattels and debts of Henry Middleton late while he lived (?) of the parish of Hartly in the county of Kent, deceased. Valued and praised by William Jennings, Thomas Middleton and Nicholas Middleton, the 12th day of October 1666.PRO PROB 6/41
Administration granted to his wife Elizabeth, 20 October 1666 (London).
First his wearing apparel and money in his purse
In the Chamber over the barn
1 standing bedstead; a feather bed and all the beddings to it
[................] press; 2 chests; a box
1 chest; 28 pairs of sheets; 12 tables loth(?); a cupboard clold (?); 3 pairs of pillow [............]; 3 dozen of napkins and their lumber
For 21 quarters of malt
For wheat and barley in the jarret with other lumber
High bedstead; one half headed bedstead; a featherbed; 3 feather pillows; 1 flock bed; 2 bolsters; 7 coverlets and blankets; 2 chests and other lumber
In the Little Room
1 trundle bedstead and flock bed with other lumber
In the Parlour
A long table and carpet; a standing bedstead; a trundle bedstead; 2 featherbeds; 2 feather bolsters; a flock bed and bolster; 2 coverlets; 4 blankets; a cupboard with other lumber
In the Buttery
2 ligches (?); 2 bowls, 2 powdr (?); 4 tubs with other lumber
2 dozen of pewter at 10d per lb; 96lb comes to
8 silver spoons and a silver cup
In the Kitchen
9 old tubs and other lumber
In the Drinte (?) house
9 old tubs with other lumber
In the Milk House
3 tables; 4 cheesemoulds; 9 scales (?) and lumber
2 new leenes (?) and other old dru (?)
4 shears and a bois (?)
51 acres of wheat on the ground at 27s the acre
17 acres of barley on the ground
18 acres of oats
15 acres of peas
11 acres of grey peas
8 acres of peese more
10 horses, mares and colts
Waggons, ploughs & horse harness with other implements for husbandry
Rope and 2 buckets for the cows (?)
For apparel of woollen
The brass: 1 furnace (?); 2 kettles; 2 warming pans; 2 skillets
4 iron pots; a kettle; a skillet
In the Hall
5 han'ter (?)
2 tables; a form; 2 cupboards; 3 spits; a dripping pan; 3 chains; 2 fowling pieces with all their lumber
20 loads of wood unmade; 2 loads of old reese (?) with some chaff
12 quarters of wheat
76 sheep and lambs
(also lists 7 items at his Northfleet house)
|Sum Total||£523 1s 0d|
Debts doubtful and desperate
From: Mr Nicholas Middleton
Mr Henry Acoorte
Mr Debar (?) Acoorte
Mr Leonard Carrier
Mr Edward Carrier
Mr Nicholas Richardson
Mr Richard Barker
Inventory of Francis Middleton of Hartley, taylor (1688)
January the 16th 1688
An inventory of the goods and chattels of Francis Middleton, late of Hartley in the county of Kent, taylor, deceased, taken and praised by us whose names are hereto subscribed as followeth:
Firstly for his wearing apparel and money
1 Bed and furniture
1 case of drawers
5 silver [........] and small tester (?)
1 chest of [........]
For other lumber
1 bed and furniture
2 chests and 3 pairs sheets
For a trunk
For a press of shop goods
In the old chamber, 1 bed and its furniture
For a parcel of apples
In the parlour, 6 leather chairs
For several small things found there
For scales and weights and a chest
In the kitchen, for all manner of utensils
In the shop, some odd things found there
In the old house, some tubs and other lumber
In the cellar vessel etc
In the barn, for wheat
For a parcel of oats
For a parcel of tares
For implements useful there
In the yard, 3 cows and a calf
2 store pigs
For a wellrope (?) bucket and for lumber
(S) John Ratie
(S) George Garnder
(X) Henry Midleton
Will of Nicholas Middleton of Ash, yeoman (1704)
Reference: CKS DRb/PW43
He leaves his soul to Almighty God and his body for a Christian burial.
To his wife Sarah: messuage and land, with reversion to son Nicholas
To son Nicholas: £20
To Henry Miller, son in law: £24, which he promised to give him in marriage settlement with his daughter Sarah.
To daughter Sarah: £5
To daughter Helen: £50
Remainder of estate to wife and son, who are made executors.
Nicholas Middleton (X)
Witnesses: George Ilfeld (S); Robert Dalton (X)
Dated: 5 August 1701
Proved at Rochester: 11 May 1704
Will of Thomas Middleton of Ash, yeoman (1717) - summary
Reference: TNA PROB11/565
He leaves his soul to Almighty God, and his body to be buried at the discretion of his executrix.
To sister in law, Sarah Fielder, now wife of William Fielder of Ash, yeoman "late wife of my brother Nicholas Middleton" - 1 shilling.
To Thomas Middleton, son of Nicholas - 1 shilling
To Sarah MIller, wife of Henry Miller and daughter of his said brother Nicholas - 1 shilling.
To Eleanor Stiles, widow of Nicholas Stiles jun, mother of the daughters of his said brother Nicholas - 1 shilling.
To Nicholas Middleton, son of his said brother Nicholas - 1 shilling.
To Margaret Rogers, daughter of his sister Elizabeth, late wife of Francis Everest - 1 shilling.
To his wife Elizabeth - the remainder of his goods and chattels, she to be his executrix.
Dated 17 April 1717
Proved at London 21 October 1718.
Will of John Middleton of Ash (1792)
Reference: TNA PROB 11/1221
Funeral expenses to be paid out of estate.
To daughter Mary Middleton: £300
To daughter Ann, wife of John Selby of Sutton at Hone, yeoman: £50
To daughter Rebecca, wife of Thomas Elgar of Northfleet, miller: £50
To other two daughters, Sally and Mercy: £300 when they are 21. If either die before then, their shares to be divided amongst the other sisters.
To "my beloved wife", Ann Middleton: all his lands and tenements for the term of her life, with reversion to son John and his heirs.
Wife and son to carry on farming business until youngest daughter is 21. And until the youngest daughter is 21, any unmarried daughter can live at their house free of charge. When such daughter is 21, then he gives lease of farm to John with all livestock, household furniture etc., except the furniture in his best chamber and great parlour, which goes to wife.
Annuity of £20 pa. to be paid to wife out of personal estate.
Wife Ann and son John appointed executors. If Ann should die before the two youngest daughters are 21, then he appoints James Lance of Ash instead.
Witnesses: Thomas Mollow, George Oliver, Richard Rabson
Dated: 17 December 1790
Proved at London: 14 July 1792 by executors Ann and John Middleton.