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From: "Chris Sackett" <>
Subject: [SACKETT-L] The Sackett Family: Appendix Quested
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 02:18:25 -0000

The Sackett Family

The Isle of Thanet
Farming Community
An agrarian history of easternmost Kent:
outlines from early times to 1993

By R.K.I. Quested

Distributed by Wye College Press

Note: The author of this book, Rosemary Quested, is a direct descendant of
Thomas Sackett, c 1530 – 1595/96, and Joane. Sacketts mentioned are:
Barzillai Cock/Sackett, Rosemary's great grandfather, and Eric Quested, her
father. Rosemary's Sackett line is:

1 Thomas Sackett b: c 1530 in England d: Mar 1595/96 in St Peter in Thanet
...+Joane [?Lastname] b: c 1532 in England m: c 1555 in England d: Dec 1593
in St Peter in Thanet
2 Thomas Sackett b: c 1557 in England d: Nov 1615 in Birchington
.....+Martha Strowde b: c 1560 m: 8 Feb 1581/82 in St Peter in Thanet d:
Jan 1631/32 in St Peter in Thanet
3 John Sackettb: Bet. 1585 - 1586 in St Peter in Thanetd: Mar 1676/77 in
St Lawrence in Thanet
+Mary [?Lastname]b: c 1600 m: c 1619 d: Unknown
4 Thomas Sackett b: 1642 in St Peter in Thanetd: Jul 1680 in Birchington
+Anne Brown b: 1640 in Birchingtonm: 1 Jun 1669 in St Mary Bredin,
Canterbury d: Mar 1712/13 in Birchington
5 Thomas Sackett b: 1676 in Birchington d: Jun 1760 in Birchington
+Elizabeth Nuby b: 1680 in Birchington m: 13 Oct 1706 in Monkton d:
6 Henry Sackett b: Feb 1710/11 in Birchington d: 1 Oct 1790 in St Peter in
+Elizabeth Clifford b: c 1 Apr 1709 m: 8 Apr 1733 in St John in Thanet d:
11 Jan 1786 in St Peter in Thanet
7 John Sackettb: 1743 in Birchington d: 11 Mar 1827 in St Peter in Thanet
+Catherine Andrews b: c 1753 m: 19 May 1773 in St John the Baptist,
Margate d: 9 Oct 1831 in St Peter in Thanet
8 Vincent Andrews Sackett b: 1793 in St Peter in Thanetd: 1883 in St Peter
in Thanet
*Partner of Vincent Andrews Sackett:
+Elizabeth Cock/Coxb: c 1820 in Canterburym: c 1837
9 Barzillai Cock/Sackettb: 1844 in St Peter in Thanet d: 1918
+Sarah Walker Harlow b: 1842 in Minster in Thanet m: 1866 in Zion Chapel,
Margated: 1922
10 Rosa Ellen Sackettb: 1872 in Thanet d: 1955
+Ernest Leslie Pottinger Quested
11 Eric Quested b: 1895
12 Rosemary Quested

[From early times to 1066]

p1 [Thanet's geography]
"The Isle of Thanet is some eight miles long from East to West and five
miles wide from North to South at its widest, about 45 square miles in
extent and 55 metres (181 feet) above sea level at its highest points . . .
The island forms a plateau, interspersed with now dry valleys. . . In
places on the uplands the chalk comes too near the surface, leaving only a
thin cover of earth, but most of the plateau is very fertile. . . For a
long time Thanet has been a famous agricultural place. Its dryness has been
an advantage as often as not . . .
"Thanet became an island sometime between 8,000 and 5,000 BC . . . when sea
levels rose at the end of the last glaciation and covered the low lands now
under the Southern parts of the North Sea and the Straits of Dover. At that
time there was probably a deep and fairly narrow salt water channel where
the Stour and Wantsum now flow through the marshes . . . The island in
those times was larger, as the sea has eaten away our Northern and Eastern
shoreline . . .

p2 [Neolithic agriculture]
"During all the millennia of prehistory . . . our island was inhabited by
people of whose customs, tongues and descent little definite is known.
Archaeological opinion tends to believe that . . . cultural change may have
occurred as much or more through local initiative and new ideas spread
through trading contacts as through invasions and migration. . . As far as
is known, the early people settled near the shores of Thanet, and on the
downland slopes . . .
"Farming has been generally considered to have started in Britain in the
fourth millennium BC . . . but only fragmentary traces of this Neolithic
agriculture have been found in Thanet . . .

p3 [Iron Age]
"Late Bronze – early Iron Age remains . . . are dominated by cow and ox
bones, indicating the people were cattle breeders, but until Roman times
farming small fields seems to have been the norm.
"The use of iron came to Thanet around 600 BC, when like most of Britain it
was probably inhabited by Celtic tribes, linguistic ancestors of modern
Welsh, Irish and Scots Gaelic speakers. . . The oldest plough marks in
Thanet date from about 50 BC in the "Belgic" Iron Age at a Lord of the
Manor (a Thanet place name) site. . .

p4 [Visit of Pytheas]
"The first civilized, learned man known to have sighted Thanet was Pytheas,
a geographer and astronomer from the Greek colony of Massilia (Marseilles),
who circumnavigated Britain . . . around 325 BC. . . He described
"Al-bion" (Britain) as mostly flat, overgrown with forests, thickly
populated; the people tall and not so yellow-haired as the Celts on the
Continent. They lived in humble houses thatched with reeds, grew corn and
stored the ears in roofed granges, and used chariots. There were many kings
and potentates amongst them, but they were usually at peace. Pytheas
reported rounding "Kantion Corner" (the Kent promontory), from whence the
Continent was visible . . . ; this is the first reference to the name of a
people from which derive the names of both Kent and Canterbury. . .
"Agriculture and living standards must have been expanded under Roman rule,
for at least 14 certain Romano-British villa-type sites and 37 homesteads
had been discovered by 1993. . . Cats, dogs, and a full range of farm
animals were kept, with extensive use of horses. . .

p5 [First broccoli]
"[It is believed] that the Romans probably introduced . . . Alexander
broccoli to Thanet. . .

p6 [Jutes replace Romans]
"Around 410 the Roman legions left, and the Jutes, a grouping among the
Anglo-Saxon peoples, became masters of Thanet. The villa system and the
Celtic language of the ancient Britons vanished, and all our old
place-names in Thanet are of Anglo-Saxon origin. . . recent research
suggests that the conquest of Eastern England took place between 410 and
441, and that for the Romano-Britons it was catastrophic. The disappearance
of the Celtic names . . seems to confirm this, and to hint at a mass
slaughter of the peaceful civilized population by the fierce Jutish
tribesmen. The population seems to have fallen steeply. . .

[Middle Ages: 1066 – 1485]

p17 [The Conqueror]
"In 1066 William the Conqueror's invasion army by-passed Thanet, marching
from Dover to Canterbury. . . According to some writers Thanet was . .
amongst the districts which the Conqueror ordered to be devastated in the
autumn of 1085 to discourage the threatened invasion by King Cnut of
Denmark. Domesday Book (1086) descriptions [do not] . . . support a
devastation in 1085. . .
p24/5 [Feudal system]
"With the growth of population, the more rapid circulation of money and
general prosperity in the late 12th and 13th centuries, serfdom became less
necessary to the lords of the manor, and the financial advantage of leasing
land for money more obvious. . .
"By the 14th century the free personal status of the men of Kent seems to
have become fairly well-established; a legal decision of 1293 declared that
villeinage did not exist there. Sub-tenants of the manorial tenants
remained obligated to their lords for services and payments in kind at the
start of this period, but these were increasingly commuted to payments in

p30/1 [Population]
"Despite the demands of the monks, the population must have greatly
increased between 1086 and the first half of the 14th century if the
Domesday record is anywhere near accurate. . . a tax register of 1334-1335
. . listed in the Hundred of Ringslow 685 heads of households able to pay
tax. . . there would have been roughly 5-7,000 people in Thanet and Stonar
together at that time, a rise of at least . threefold since 1086 . . .

p32/3 [Evolution of names]
"It is interesting to see the evolution of names in this period. . . in the
12th century by-names were used in Thanet as well as patronymics. In the
13th century a number of people used the by-names de Taneto, de Tanet, de
Thaneto, de Thanet, but many still had only a personal name and a
patronymic. Some women bore such names as Godelifa and Waltrina amongst the
now commoner Margery and Joan, etc, whilst some men were called Eilweker or
the Norman Hamo as well as the already more usual Thomas, John, Henry,
Richard, Reginald, etc. The register of 1334-35 shows a distinct further
development, with a return to more precisely differentiated by-names, such
as Elizabeth de Wode, Martin de Ramsgat, John de Brokessende, and some
surnames of a modern type which are current in Thanet today: Johnson,
Jordon, Phylepot, Kempe, Coleman, Smyth, Saket, etc, . . .

"Thanet's prosperity seems to have held well into the second quarter of the
14th century. . .
"Yet conditions seem to have been gradually becoming less favourable. A
great drought hit Thanet . . in 1325-26 . . and the climate may have become
colder after 1300. A series of animal plagues began in 1327, with
recurrences at intervals till nearly the end of the century. The war with
France added an economic strain: the mint at Canterbury was closed in 1324
for lack of silver. In 1348 came the Black Death, a combination of
pneumonic, bubonic and septicaemic plague strains, which struck at a
population in many parts of England known to have been already weakened by
starvation, due mainly to adverse weather.

p34 [Peasants' Revolt]
"In 1362 the extensive rights of jurisdiction of the Abbot of St
Augustine's at Minster were reconfirmed. . . labour services were in force
there in 1381 and the regime was evidently felt to be onerous, particularly
the continuing obligation to send representatives to the court at
Canterbury. This led the men of the Thanet estates to take part in Wat
Tyler's rebellion, otherwise known as the Peasants' Revolt. Triggered off
by the arrival of Wat and his men at Canterbury on 10 June 1381, the Thanet
revolt broke out at St Lawrence and St John's on 13 June. At the latter it
was led by the local curate, probably wretchedly paid. . . A proclamation
in the name of Jack Straw and Wat Tyler ordered that labour services should
not be performed nor distraints made, and called on the people to destroy
the Manston house of William de Medmenham (a local coroner who evidently
acted as representative for St Augustine's), and if possible behead him.
The same day a crowd some 200 strong attacked the house, burnt "the books
and muniments" and "took away and burnt the rolls" to the value of 20

[Early modern times; 1485 – 1700]

p40 [Difficulty of travelling]
"The first year of this first Tudor king [Henry VII], (1485-86) may have
seen the end of Thanet as a real island, for . . an Act that year permitted
a bridge to be built over the Wantsum at Sarre. Yet in many ways island
conditions prevailed for much longer, for the one small wooden bridge did
not much ease the difficult journey to Canterbury and London over un-made
roads, and until 1757 the only other crossing points were the ferries over
the Stour at Stonar and below Minster and Monkton. . . Until the latter
half of the 18th century sea transport remained almost as good a way of
reaching Thanet as land, and only with the coming of the railways did the
land route gain an overwhelming advantage in all weathers.

p41 [Standard inhabitants of Thanet]
"From now until the rise of the towns the standard inhabitants of Thanet
consisted of the usually secular landlord, the yeoman (usually tenant)
farmer, the husbandman (small farmer, usually a tenant), the cottager and
the labourer, together with the parish clergy, the few craftsmen, traders
and inn-keepers and the fishermen and seafarers in the fishing villages. A
class of large farmers would seem to have re-emerged or have been
re-emerging in Henry VIII's reign (1509-1547), (if indeed it had ever been
entirely absent), and was to be a feature of the island until the present.

p45/6 [Religious developments]
"It is worthwhile looking at the politico-religious events of the 16th-17th
centuries for the light they throw on the development of Thanet's
character. During HenryVIII's Reformation, the return to Catholicism under
Mary and the final shaping of the Church of England by Elizabeth I, most of
the Thanet population apparently accepted the changes imposed upon them
from above, and at first only a few took sides. . . more recently it has
been found that the Lollard tradition survived in parts of East Kent into
the middle of the 16th century. There was extreme Protestant, Lollard-type
activity at Faversham in 1535, at Canterbury in the 1540s, at Faversham
again in 1550-51, and some of the Canterbury martyrs burnt under Queen Mary
in 1555 were accused of Lollard-type arguments. . . In 1556 John Alchorne
of Birchington denied all the ceremonies of the Church and kept illicit
books, though he gave in and agreed to conform.
"The vicar of St Peter's was accused of supporting the Pope in 1537. . .
Serles (famous for having maintained that Mary gave birth to Jesus when she
was fourteen because the moon comes to the full in fourteen days), was
vicar of Monkton in 1552-1561. . .
"Later in the century various sectarian tendencies definitely became
established here. William Claybrooke, a former lawyer living at Nash Court,
owned or had read "all contentious or schismatic books at any time printed"
about 1588. The Vicar of St Nicholas, a non-conforming Puritan, preached
against other sectaries in 1590. By the end of the 16th century separatist
or semi-separatist groups were especially active in Thanet . . . In
1617-18, under a moderate Puritan archbishop, St John's was one of various
parishes in East Kent given a new vicar with reforming duties – a "reformed
pulpit" as it was called. The Puritan movement is not mentioned again until
the 1640s.

p47/8 [Plague]
"According to the Birchington records at least the Restoration was greeted
with the relaxation of behaviour traditionally associated with it: for
there was much eating and drinking. The Great Plague of 1666 did not affect
the island, but plague or other epidemics occurred frequently in
Birchington throughout the 17th century, the early part of which was much
worse in this respect . . than the late 16th century. At Minster, too, of
33 upland holders in 1635 only 17 appeared to be still there in 1640.

p50 [Poorhouses]
"A feature of Thanet parishes from the 16th century . . . was the
appearance of charitable endowments for the poor, often including the
provision of schooling for them. A workhouse and an almshouse were
established in Minster in the mid-17th century, and all parishes must have
had poorhouses of some kind by the end of the 17th century.

p57 [Thomas Sackett]
"Thanet yeomen were amongst the wealthiest in Kent in the 17th century. By
the mid-17th century a middling farmer and shopkeeper in Minster, Thomas
Sackett, enjoyed the comfort of a feather-bed (a prestigious item in those
days), some "joyned" furniture (made by a joiner expert in furniture-making
and again prestigious), pewter dishes, two bibles and two testaments. In
1692 Richard Mockett of St Peter's left inter alia in his will ten pairs of
sheets, four "pillowcoats", one dozen of napkins and four towels.

p60-1 [Causes of poverty]
". . . in Birchington receipt of alms did not necessarily mean misery, and
one widow obtaining poor relief for 14 years died in possession of a
comfortable home, including a featherbed, in 1669. Findings for the early
18th century treatment of the poor in St Nicholas suggest that they were
probably not dissimilar there in the 17th century. It may have been
different in the poorer parishes. The commonest causes of poverty must have
been widowhood, orphaning, handicaps, old age, injuries and sickness, which
from all accounts were common enough. Bad weather and animal and plant
disease seem to have been a less frequent cause . . . ; there should have
been no lack of work for those able to do it.

p65-6 [Farming and fishing]
". . . researches confirmed the important role in the latter half of the
17th century of fishing as a tandem occupation with agriculture in Thanet,
. . . Both small and largish farmers owned shares in sometimes as many as
seven different vessels, and a considerable amount of fishing tackle. In
the period 1660 to the end of the century, . . . most boats were jointly
owned, at this time in shares of 1/8, 1/16 and 1/32, and ownership was not
confined to coastal parishes. . . but fishing interests were naturally more
prominent in Birchington, St John's, St Peter's and St Lawrence. Labourers
fished in the intervals between the main surges of farm work, and
conversely men mainly employed as seamen sometimes worked on the land in

p66 [Smuggling]
"Another increasingly important maritime occupation from the late 17th
century was smuggling. The various privately owned "cuts" down through the
cliffs to the sea, and the legendary caves reputed to lie under many Thanet
farms must have proved useful for this. There are still intact examples of
these "cuts" at Coleman Stairs Road at Birchington, Botany Bay, Dumpton,
[Not mentioned in this book is Sackett's Gap, cut centuries ago by local
farmers, it was believed, for the purpose of bringing seaweed from the
foreshore to fertilize their land. Perhaps the prime purpose of Sackett's
Gap was more glamorous!]

[The Eighteenth Century to 1792]

p74-5 [Sea-bathing]
"The 18th century was one of great developments . . . in Thanet's local
story. . . . In Thanet the commencement of sea-bathing for health reasons
in the 1730s was a very significant milestone in the life of our towns and
ultimately of the whole island. . . The fashion for sea bathing and
seaside holidays, as a change from visiting spas, started amongst the upper
classes, and soon catapulted Margate and Ramsgate to fame as rival select
resorts within easy reach of London by sea. Sea bathing began at Margate in
1736, and soon after at Ramsgate. By 1776 Margate was claimed to be "in
great vogue among wealthy citizens of the metropolis and the most
respectable class of gentry in this kingdom". According to a local
inhabitant, however, "both the houses of Ramsgate" and "the company which
resorts to them" were "of superior description to Margate".

p75 [New bridge and roads]
"The fashionability of the Thanet resorts led to some improvement in the
roads and coaching services. Communications with the mainland were
facilitated by the rebuilding in brick of the small bridge over the Wantsum
at Sarre . . . By 1796 during the season two diligences, one post-coach,
one coach and two night coaches plied each twenty-four hours from Margate
to London. . . But many of the growing number of visitors preferred to
come by sea, and the island atmosphere continued.

p134 [Sackett's Hill estate for sale]
"Sackett's Hill estate (8 freehold acres of farmland, vegetable garden,
stables, etc.) . . did not reach its reserve and was withdrawn at £5,350 in
May [1891].

p147 [Barzillai Sackett and harvest homes]
It was in this period, probably in the 1870s, that farmers began to stop
giving harvest homes to their men, but to give overtime or extra harvest
payments instead. A Kentish Gazette report from Ramsgate in 1861 mentions
harvest homes as routine: "the Lord of the Manor meets his tenants on Court
days, the landlords at the rent audits, and the farmers their men at the
harvest homes". . . But gradually they decreased; for instance Barzillai
Sackett, who started farming in the 1880s, never gave one, and Eric Quested
could not recall having heard of one in the years 1911-1914 in North

p154 [Bar Sackett and broccoli]
" "Collyflowers" had been a market-garden crop since at least 1750, and
Walcheren broccoli, which had only a three-week season in April, had
probably been here for as long or longer. . . The seed of longer-lasting
spring varieties, mainly Roscoff and some Anger, was brought to Thanet by
Barzillai (Bar) Sackett of Northwood (1849-1942) and Augustus Brockman of
Haine . . , two young market-gardeners with adjoining land, who went to
Brittany together and bought it there. Local and family tradition gives the
leading role in this enterprise to the older Bar Sackett. . .
"Bar Sackett founded his fortunes on the broccoli. Having inherited only 15
acres from his father, he was occupying 34 acres, with three men working
for him, by the 1881 census. In 1884 he began selling wheat, indicating he
had moved definitely into farming, and he began to take over the tenancy of
larger farms . . . He was the first to take broccoli into large-scale
arable farming in Thanet.

p163-4 [Bar Sackett and Woodchurch]
"The winter of 1894-5 was very severe, and there were eleven farm sales in
1895. . .
"In 1896 there were another eleven sales . .
"It is believed that Bar Sackett bargained with the Powell-Cottons to take
on Woodchurch at a reduced rent when it was offered for the second year, .

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