Bilsington (St. Peter and St. Paul)
BILSINGTON (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of East Ashford, partly in the liberty of Romney Marsh, but chiefly in the hundred of Newchurch, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 8 miles (S. S. E.) from Ashford; containing 385 inhabitants. The parish consists of 2843 acres, of which 557 are in wood. It comprises the manors of Bilsington Superior, or the Priory, and Bilsington Inferior, or the Moat; and the proprietor for the time being is cupbearer to the king at his coronation, on which occasion he presents three maple cups to his majesty, and, on performing that office in person, receives the honour of knighthood. The upper part of the parish is thickly wooded, and in that portion lying in Romney Marsh are some luxuriant pastures: the soil is clay, alternated with sand; the chief crops are wheat, oats, beans, peas, and hops. Over the Royal Military canal, which passes through the parish, is a neat bridge, and adjoining it a coal and timber wharf. A fair for toys is held on the 5th of July. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £49; patrons and impropriators, the family of Cosway, whose tithes have been commuted for £615. A priory for Black canons was founded here, before the year 1253, by John Mansell, provost of Beverley, who dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin; its revenue was valued at the Dissolution at £81. 1. 6., and was granted in exchange for other lands to the Archbishop of Canterbury.