Fordwich (St. Mary)
FORDWICH (St. Mary), a parish, and a member of the town and port of Sandwich, in the union of Bridge, locally in the hundred of Downhamford, lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 2 miles (E. by N.) from Canterbury; containing 231 inhabitants. This place takes its name from a ford or pass at the crooked winding of the river Stour, and was anciently of much more importance; the sea flowed up to it, and it was a great resort for shipping. In the time of the Saxons, here was a collector of the customs, appointed by the king. In 1055, Edward the Confessor granted the place to the abbey of St. Augustine, Canterbury. In the Domesday survey it is recorded as the "small borough of Forwich," and later authorities state it to have been a borough by prescription, governed by a mayor, jurats, and commonalty, with a high steward, treasurer, and town-clerk. The mayor, who by virtue of his office was also coroner, and the jurats, who were justices, had the privilege of holding a general session of the peace and gaol delivery, together with a court of record. The parish comprises by estimation 357 acres, of which 175 are pasture, 154 arable, 18 in hop plantations, and 10 woodland. The village is situated on the south side of the Stour, a little below the bridge, to which the river is navigable; there are some extensive flour-mills. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 15. 2.; net income, £178; patron, Earl Cowper.