COULYNG CASTLE. COULYNG, Cowlinge, or Cooling, Castle consists of two parallel but unequal wards, or courts, separated by a moat which surrounded both. These wards are four-sided but not rectangular, and have a round tower at each angle. They cover or enclose nearly eight acres of ground; the dimensions of the Outer Ward being about 440 feet by 290 and those of the Inner Ward 196 feet by 170.
Coulyng Manor formed one of the possessions of the great family of Cobham, for more than three hundred and fifty years, from the time of Henry III to that of James I. It is said to have been purchased, for four hundred marks, by Sir John de Cobham, who died in 1252. No Castle was here then, but a stately manor house stood in the midst of the demesne, which was more than seven hundred acres in extent. The whole property is carefully described in the records of an Inquisition, held on the 15th of April, 1300, after the death of another Sir John de Cobbam, son of him who purchased this manor, and father of Henry the first Baron Cobham. The deceased knight was so highly esteemed by Edward I. and his son, that upon the day of his burial, March 27th, 1300, mass was said before Prince Edward in his Chapel Royal for the soul of Sir John de Cobham.
The Jurors, upon the Inquisition found that Sir John held the manor of Coulyngg' from the heirs of the Countess of Aumarle, by the service of one knight's fee, and that two other gentlemen held under him as free tenants on the manor by knight's service. One of these, Nicholas de Ore, held the twentieth part of a knight's fee, doing service at the court of Coulyng; the other, Ralph Parlebyen, held seven acres as the one-hundredth part of a knight's fee, paying annually as rent two pounds of pepper, worth two shillings. There were likewise several other free tenants, whose tenure was by gavelkind, not by knight's service, and these paid altogether £4 per annum to Sir John de Cobham as Lord of the manor. The total value of the manor, including every source of income, was assessed at £26. 12s. 5d. per annum, equivalent to about £500 of our money.
The details of the manorial demesne are thus entered:—
" There is there a certain Capital Messuage [the Manor House] which .with its orchards, and other Appurtenances within the enclosure, is worth (beyond cost of repairs) six shillings per annum. There are 113 acres of arable land worth one shilling per acre per annum; 200 acres of inferior arable land worth 7d per acre; 60 acres of hill pasture worth 2 a per acre; 300 acres of " saltings " pasture worth 6a per acre; 15 acres of meadow on the saltings worth 6a per acre; 15 acres of underwood worth 3d per acre; one watermill worth 13s 4a per annum; and two windmills worth 30s per annum."
Such was the manor of Coulying at the beginning of the fourteenth century, before any Castle was built upon it.
The Castle was erected, early in the reign of Richard II, by that munificent patron of builders and masons John de Cobham, the third Baron Cobham. He had no son to perpetuate his name, but he left memorials, in stone and in good deeds, that have endured to the present time. It is a fact characteristic of the man that his Baronial Castle was not the first, but the last, of the great buildings which he erected. Almost immediately after he had inherited the family estates, he founded a Perpetual Chantry or College at Cobham, in the 36th year of Edward III. He repaired and sumptuously decorated Cobham Church, and probably put a new roof upon Coulyng Church, during the same reign. Not until after all these pious works were completed, did he devote himself to rebuilding his manor house at Coulyng, and obtain King Richard's licence to crenelate and fortify it. This licence* is dated February 2nd, 1380-1. That year saw him unite with Sir Eobert Knollys in rebuilding Rochester Bridge. The same patriotic generosity, which prompted him to build the bridge constrained him to turn his manor house into a castle. The safety of the district required it.
In 1377-8, the first year of Richard II, commenced that agitation, among the serfs and peasantry, which culminated three or four years later in Wat Tyler's rebellion. Internal divisions however seemed less formidable than foreign invasion. That more terrible infliction befell this district in 1379. The Chroniclers narrate that French vessels appeared at the mouth of the Thames, with a force of Frenchmen and Spaniards who ravaged all this part of Kent, adjacent to the Thames. As there was no stronghold here to withstand them, every town and village near the river fell into their hands. They burned and destroyed all the houses, and penetrated even so far up the river as Gravesend, which likewise fell before these marauders.
The patriotic Baron of Cobham determined to do what he could towards preventing a repetition of such an outrage and disgrace. It seems probable that he was at that time engaged in repairing or rebuilding his manor house here. There is in existence a mason's receipt, dated in London on the llth of May, 1379, by which Thomas Wrek acknowledges £5 paid to him as part of the sum. of £l4. 6s. 8d. due by Lord Cobham for building work already done. There is likewise a London plumber's receipt § dated at Coulyng, five years earlier (in 1374, October,) for the sum of 48s. 10d. These receipts were found in connection with others, of later date, which refer to the building of Coulyng Castle, but there is nothing in the wording of these earlier documents by which we can discover where the work mentioned in them was done. The later receipts prove that (two years after 1379) when Lord Cobham had obtained the king's permission to fortify his house here, he pressed forward the work with all possible speed.
At Michaelmas, 1381, a London master mason, Henry de Ivelegh or Yevele, was at Coulyng and acknowledged receipt of £20 which were paid to him by Lord Cobham on account of Thomas Wrek or Wrewk, the mason mentioned before.* In the following year we find the same Henry Yevele again at Coulyng. Probably his errand on both occasions was of the same nature. At all events on the 23rd of July, 1382, he certified that he had measured certain walls and towers which had been erected within the moat of Coulyng, by a mason named William Sharnall. He describes these walls and towers as reaching " from the tower in the south-east corner to the wall of the Great Chamber in the north corner."Thus we know the exact date of the erection of the eastern front of the Inner Ward, with its strongly fortified gatehouse; it was completed by the 23rd of July, 1382. We know the name of its builder, Wm. Sharnall. We know also the price paid for it, £456; for Yevele certified that the masonry therein measured fifty-seven perches; and Sharnall was paid £8 for every perch. Lord Cobham's desire to push on the work was no doubt increased, while the work itself may have been hindered by the disturbed state of Kent, and of the country, during and after Wat Tyler's rebellion. He seems, therefore, to have employed different builders, or master masons, simultaneously upon different portions of the Castle. Thus we find that Wm. Sharnall built the eastern front and strong gatehouse of the Inner Ward; but another mason named Thos. Crompe undertook the south gate of the Outer Ward ("la graunde porte del outerwarde de Coulyng "). He had finished that great gate, and received £8 for his work, on the 25th of November, 13824 The Castle was not completed until three years after this date. At Michaelmas, 1384, the two masons, Crompe and Sharnall, acknowledge receipt of 78s. for 650 quarters of lime used at Coulyng during the previous twelve months. A third builder named Bestcherche was afterwards employed to hasten the progress of the work. On the 16th of October, 1384, he received 60s. for masonry in the Castle of Coulyng. Even then the Castle was not finished. There exists a still later receipt, dated Michaelmas, 1385, for work done there by Thomas Crompe during the previous twelve months.
It seems then to be probable that the old manor house had become dilapidated, so that plumbers were employed to repair its roof, towards the end of Edward the III's reign, and that Lord Cobham began to rebuild, rather than repair, it almost immediately after that king's death. The French invasion then prompted him to obtain the royal licence to fortify his house, and the completion of the new Castle occupied fully five years, to the end of 1385. Thus from documentary evidence we know the date of Coulyng Castle, we know the names of the master builders employed, we know something of the cost of the work (viz., £8 per perch of masonry) and something of the order in which the various parts were built. We shall expect to find indications that some of the building was done before February, 1381, when the licence to crenelate was granted; we know that the strong eastern front of the Inner Ward was then rapidly raised, and was finished before July, 1382; we learn that the large Outer Ward was then in course of erection, and that its great gate between the two towers was completed in the following November (1382); and we understand that, after these defensive portions were finished, at least three years were occupied with the completion of the Castle buildings.
The Outer Ward lies to the east of the Inner Ward. The Outer Gateway stands at its south-west corner between two, apparently round, towers which are advanced about sixteen feet in front of the level of the south face of the Inner Ward. These Outer Gate Towers are forty feet high, to the tops of their parapets, and the total width of the towers and gateway taken together is about fifty feet. The towers are not circular, but are semicircles facing the south (one of twenty feet diameter, the other of eighteen), and the ends of each semicircle are continued, across the ends of their diameters and at right angles to them, in straight lines, northward. Each of them thus forms an elongated, straight-sided, horse-shoe, nineteen feet deep from the centre of its outer face to the middle of its open back. Their walls vary in thickness from four to six feet, and still shew putlog holes on the outside, and corbels for floor beams on the inside. The upper corbels are all nineteen feet above the ground; the lower corbels are, in the eastern tower nine feet, and in the western tower seven feet from the ground. The eastern tower is the larger of the two, but the west wall of the western tower is continued for three feet further north than the other tower walls. The arched gateway, nine feet wide and fifteen feet high at its apex, was defended by heavy folding doors, hung upon four iron gudgeons which still remain. There was no portcullis here, but the square-topped recess, over the doorway, was made to receive the end of a drawbridge. Heavy machicolations, and tall battlements, crown the horse-shoe towers. Thus the garrison could harass assailants, not only from the embrasures of the battlements, but also from twelve apertures (meurtrieres) in the floor of the west parapet, and from eleven in that of the east. These apertures are generally three feet long by one foot wide. A similar aperture above the gateway is nine feet long by one foot wide, but two narrow divisions of stone break it into three spaces of less than, three feet each, a common arrangement in castles of this period. In the basement of each Outer Gate Tower there is a round peephole, which is very widely splayed internally; that in the west tower was very low and looked south-west: that in the east tower is higher and looks to the south-east. On the middle floor of each tower there was a long narrow loop (deeply splayed internally) with a round orifice in the middle of it. That in the east tower looks south; that in the west looks nearly south-east. On the upper floor of each tower is another round peephole; in the east tower it looks south-south-east; in the west tower south-south-west. The crest of the battlement over the gateway is twelve feet lower than those of the tower battlements. Access to the platform over the gateway was obtained, from the second floor of each tower, through an arched doorway which is still visible and open.
On the south face of the eastern Outer Gate Tower, we see the well-known inscription, which takes the form of a charter with Lord Cobham's seal appended to it. This is formed of fourteen copper plates exquisitely enamelled. The writing is in black, while the ground is of white enamel ; the seal and silk cords are of the proper colours. The whole work is an exquisite example of enamel, which after 500 years' exposure to the weather remains nearly as good as when it was put up. The inscription states very clearly why Lord Cobham erected a castle here, viz., for the safety of the country. The French invasion had shewn the need, and this inscription was perhaps intended to disarm the suspicions and hostility of the serfs, by reminding them of that need. It runs thus, in four lines, each enamelled upon three plates of copper.
Inscriptions are rare on Gothic buildings, especially on castles. That best known is over the portal of Brougham Castle. This at Coulyng is remarkable from being in English, at a time when Latin was employed in all charters ; it contains that early form of the plural, " beth," instead of " are." The inscription measures thirty-two inches by fourteen, and the diameter of the seal is no less than seven and a quarter inches long.
Entering through the outer gateway, we cannot in these days realize the great size of the Outer Ward, because the modern dwelling house, offices, and outbuildings block the view. Walking around it, we find a round tower at each of the three other corners, and many portions of the curtain walls still remain. Towards the east the ground rises so rapidly that the east curtain wall, being on such high ground above the moat, was probably low. Proceeding northward about 180 feet from the great outer gate, we find ourselves opposite the Gatehouse of the Inner Ward. The moat between us and it is dry, and some steps constructed by Mr. Murton enable us to descend and cross to the Inner Ward. Before doing so we remark that a stone 'platform to receive and support the end of the drawbridge must have stood where the steps now are; but no traces of it remained within living memory.
As we cross the dried moat we notice that the fortified entrance of the Inner Ward, is not in the middle of the east front, but much nearer to its north end than to the south. The walls of this Inner Ward are all built of chalk, which is faced on both sides with rag stone ashlar, except on that portion of the east wall which lies between the Gatehouse and the north-east corner. There the wall is faced with chequered work of rag stone and flints, arranged in chess-board pattern. Upon the broad projecting buttress the pattern is slightly varied, narrow bands of flint connecting the flint squares of the same course. Towards the northern end and in the upper portion the work is better than elsewhere, and may be compared with any of the same kind at Norwich or in East Anglia. The surface of this wall is not in the same plane with that of the corresponding wall south of the gatehouse, but projects a few inches beyond it.
The room of which this chequered work formed the outer wall, was called by the builder who measured the work " the great chamber in the north corner." Its crypt still remains, with its vaulting shafts, and one entire bay of the vaulting, perfect. It has sometimes been called the Chapel, but as it is forty-six feet long from north to south, and only seventeen from east to west, while it possesses not a single characteristic of a chapel, the idea is clearly a mistake. The Great Chamber itself has disappeared. Probably its fireplace and chimney were supported by the central buttress which projects into the moat.
The north-east round tower, with which the Great Chamber and its crypt communicated, has disappeared all but a small fragment of projecting wall, which shews that its basement (and perhaps the upper floors also) formed internally a hexagon. This north-east tower and its fellow at the south east corner were the only towers of the Castle which seem to have been completely rounded, and closed with masonry ; the masonry of the others forms, generally, three quarters of a circle, or something like a horse-shoe.
Of the Inner Ward, the two round towers of the Gatehouse are at present only thirty and a half feet high, but the towers at the south-east and north-west corners are thirty-four feet high, and that at the south-west corner is thirty-five feet in height. The highest walls now standing are:—a portion of the south-side, towards the west, twenty-nine feet high; the whole of the west wall, which is twenty-seven feet high ; and a portion of the east wall, adjoining the southern of the two gatehouse towers, which is twenty-seven and a half feet high. The wall between the Gatehouse and the south-east corner tower is five feet thick, but the general thickness of the outer walls is only four feet, and that of the inner walls three feet.
Approaching this Inner Gatehouse we observe two semicircular cavities (of which the diameter is uppermost) in the north and south faces of the gateway, in front of, and lower than the bases of the arch-piers. These formed the bearings which received the axle of the drawbridge. Six inches above the highest points of these bearings, we find a long horizontal semicircular groove, of three inches diameter, sunk in the north and south faces of the jambs. Its use is not known with certainty, but we may suggest what is probable. Through this groove a sort of avunt-pont, or telescopic addition to the drawbridge could be slid onward over its surface, after the bridge had been lowered. The bridge itself seldom exceeded ten feet in length. Likewise, in the face of the jambs we notice a large vertical groove which was intended to guide the portcullis, and prevent its being wrenched open. The flanking towers of the gatehouse are of fourteen feet diameter. The northern tower is pierced only with two oylet loops, the southern tower has two rectangular windows, and three oylet loops, on its two floors.
Entering the Inner Ward, we find that the Great Chamber and its crypt occupied the whole of the northern end of the east face. The majority of the dwelling rooms and offices were in the southern portion of the east front, and the eastern portion of the south front. The width of the buildings can still be traced by the inner walls, which remain in situ beneath the flower beds. All traces of rooms have disappeared, but by digging down below the surface on the east side towards the south, fire-places and chimneys have been traced. Passing on to the south-east tower, we look into it and find that its basement is cylindrical; that it had two stories of rooms beneath its roof; that its walls are pierced with two loops on the first floor, and with one loop and two rectangular windows on the upper—each window is of two lights transomed. Into its basement projects the rectangular corner of a chamber now far below the surface of the ground. The round tower was evidently added after that corner chamber had been built. Close to where we stand, at the point where the south wall and this corner tower meet, there are traces of a fire-place in the wall. We see three courses of tiles, laid edgewise and herring-bone fashion to form a fire-back.
Descending the ancient newel staircase, we enter the vaulted chamber, of which we saw the corner projecting through the wall of the circular tower. This vaulted chamber has a window and a door-case which we must examine. The door-case shews that the door opened inward, and that it was fastened upon the inside by a bar of wood, for which barholes are constructed in the wall j the deep one, to take the whole bar when not in use, has its inner surfaces lined with tiles. These precautions at the door for ensuring privacy, are paralleled by similar precautions in the construction of the window, which piercing the south wall at its eastern end, looks upon the moat. This window consists of a large pointed arch the greater portion of which is built up with great care, by means of three blocks of masonry, each of which is so curved that no prying eye could look in from without, nor could the inmate look out, through the three long narrow rectangular loopholes, by which the light enters from outside. These loopholes are three in number, but after being constructed so carefully upon so remarkable a plan, one of them has actually been built over by the circular tower at the south-east angle. This fact alone would prove that the eastern face with its gatehouse and two round towers, built in 1382, was an after-thought added to the original plan of the manor house, which had already been begun before licence to fortify and crenelate had been obtained. A singular angle in the north wall towards its east end suggests the same idea; and the' difference between the corner towers of the east front and those in the west face of this ward further confirms it. But what was this vaulted chamber in the south-east corner? It has been called the dungeon or prison —this it cannot be, for the door was fastened from the inside —and the iron staple under the window is quite modern, put in by Mr. Murton's gardener. A very experienced antiquary suggests that it may have been a bath—Edward I built a bath (which still exists) on a level with the moat at Leeds Castle. This chamber, so carefully constructed to preserve the privacy of its inmates, might have been used as a bath by the ladies of the family. There is not however beneath the present surface any communication with the moat by means of which the water could be admitted, and the solid chalk here had never been disturbed, until we recently dug down some three feet or more, to explore it.
Returning to the open air, we see near us, in the thickness of the south wall, two rectangular shafts which were the drains that descended to the moat, from garderobes in two dwelling or sleeping rooms. Projecting from the south wall, internally, we find five corbels at a height of seven feet from the ground. These evidently supported a floor. Three rectangular drain shafts in the thickness of the walls indicate again the position of dwelling or sleeping rooms. West of them we see a tapering opening, in the wall, which marks the place of a chimney and hearth in an upper room. There are in this wall, further west, other corbels for a floor, at present only four feet from the ground.
The west wall is nearly perfect, yet it contains but one small window, with a corbel beside it. In this wall, close to the north-west tower, was the Water Gate of the Castle, by which access could be had to the moat for the purpose either of dipping up water, or of entering a boat. Nearly opposite to it Mr. Murton dug up the remains of a small wooden ship or boat, portions of which still remain. It seems pretty clear that there were no dwelling rooms on the west side of the castle. The north-west tower, like its fellow at the south-west corner, was open in the rear. The opening was originally closed by a brattice, as in the Tower of London.
In the north wall we find further evidence of a change of plan during the erection of this Castle, and probably an indication of a change of builders also. About fifty feet from the eastern end of this wall its direction is changed, so that at that point, instead of one straight wall we appear to have the junction of two walls, coming from different directions. When this curious feature reminds us of the way in which the south east tower overlaps the window of the small vaulted chamber, and we look carefully at the plan, it seems to be pretty clear that the whole of the eastern fortified front was added after much of the inner court had been built. Considerably westward of the point of junction in the north wall there are drain shafts in the thickness of the wall, uniting at their common outlet into the moat, and indicating the position of dwelling or sleeping rooms, or of garderobes on the ramparts.
The Outer Ward now possesses but little interest; its great size was no doubt necessitated by the nature of the ground., which here rises rapidly towards the east. Had the highest portion been left outside the defences of the castle, those defences would have been of very little value. To make the castle defensible it was imperative that its curtain walls should include, or crown, the neighbouring high ground.
Passing onward from the consideration of the architecture we must glance briefly at the historical associations which cling around Coulyng Castle.
The Castle, as I have said, seems to have occupied some five or six years in building, and was not completed before Michaelmas, 1385. Within thirteen years from that date Sir John Cobham was banished to Guernsey, and his estates were seized by Richard II. Sir John had attended meetings of malcontent nobles, and was one of the thirteen lords who were self-appointed governors of the realm; hence his banishment. On the accession of Henry IV he was restored to his estates, and no doubt there were great rejoicings upon that occasion in the Castle of Coulyng. Then, however, he was an aged man, whose only child Joan De La Pole died before him, and he survived less than ten years to enjoy his restored estates and Castle. He died in January, 14-08. His grand-daughter Joan lived much at Coulyng; she had already been thrice married, and at the time of his death was then once more a widow, having, like himself, but one surviving child, Joan Braybrooke. Her third husband Sir Nicholas Hawberk had died, in this Castle, just three months before the decease of her grandfather. She subsequently married that good and noble man Sir John Oldcastle, whose name is perhaps more often recalled in connection with Coulyng Castle, than that of its builder or any of its owners. This indissoluble connection of his name with all memories of the place, is a very remarkable testimony to the noble and commanding character of Sir John Oldcastle, " the good Lord Cobham." How long was he connected with Coulyng ? How long was he Lord Cobham ? Less than ten years. The Lady Joan's third husband, Hawberk, died in October, 1407. Sir John Oldcastle was burned hanging, on Christmas Day, 1417. During the last four years of his life he was a fugitive in Wales hiding from his pursuers. His actual residence at Coulyng could not have exceeded five years. Yet so great and so good was this noble man; so powerful was his influence upon his own generation; and so great a benefit did his noble stand, for Christian truth and for liberty of conscience, bestow upon posterity; that during those few years Sir John Oldcastle impressed his memory upon Cooling, more indelibly than any other of its possessors.
The effect of his noble character may well be illustrated by a contrast. A fifth husband, whom the Lady Joan took to solace her for the loss of the good Lord Cobham, lived here for a period three times as long as Sir John Oldcastle, and had such repute and honour as obtained for him a grave in Westminster Abbey when he died. Yet few men now remember the name of Sir John Harpeden, and none connect it with Cooling Castle.
To illustrate the mediaeval style of living, in such a Castle as this, we may quote a clause from the lease of a marsh and two houses which were let to John Smith of Coulyng, by Thomas Brook in May, 1429. Thomas Brook married the heiress Joan Bray brook. By this clause the tenant was bound to strew, with freshly gathered rushes, the floors of the hall and chambers of " Coweling " Castle, whenever the Lord was coming there to stay. This, says Mr. Larking,* " was nearly all the preparation needed to receive the lord on his arrival." A few benches, stools and steddles, with a few chairs, formed the standing furniture of the house. Hangings for walls and beds, and all such comforts, were brought with him by the lord, whenever he moved from one mansion to another.
The most remarkable event in the history of Coulyng Castle was its assault and capture by Sir Thomas Wyatt, on the 30th of January, 1554. The Lord of Cobham and of Coulyng was then George Brooke, whose sister was the wife of Sir Thomas Wyatt. A demonstration, which should prevent Queen Mary from marrying Philip of Spain, was all that Wyatt desired to achieve, but his movement was rebellion in the eye of the law. On Sunday, the 28th of January, George Lord Cobham went to Gravesend, and there, in company with Sir John Fogge, Sir H. Jerningham, and others, received Thomas Duke of Norfolk, who came with six hundred foot soldiers, called Whitecoats, obtained from the City of London, to head the Queen's forces against Wyatt. One of Wyatt's friends, Sir George Harper, came over from the rebels and was gladly welcomed by the Duke of Norfolk, who found not more than three hundred men awaiting him at Gravesend. Lord Cobham returned to Coulyng and next day wrote to the Duke that Wyatt intended to fight it out, and cautioned his Grace not to come too far. The Duke came on, and his force of men had with them six pieces of ordnance. Owing to the treachery of the Whitecoats, who under Capt. Brett went over to the rebels, Wyatt defeated the Duke at Strood on the 29th of January, and seizing the six guns marched with them towards his brother-in-law's Castle of Coulyng. What follows we learn from Lord Cobham himself, for his letter to Queen Mary is still in existence among the Public Records, and I append a copy of it.* He says that Wyatt appeared before his Castle at eleven o'clock in the morning with two thousand men, and at once laid battery to the gate of the Castle, with two great guns captured from the Duke of Norfolk, while he laid four other pieces of ordnance against another side of the Castle, sorely battering it and the gates. Lord Cobham defended his house with a handful of men from eleven in the morning until five in the afternoon. Besides blackbylls he had no weapons beyond four pikes and four or five handguns. When four or five of his men had been killed, and others wounded; when his ammunition was nearly expended; when his gates with the drawbridges were so battered and fired down that his own men began to murmur and to shrink, and Wyatt's men were " redy to invade " him, Lord Cobham felt compelled to yield, which he did at five o'clock in the afternoon. Then Wyatt made the Lord of Coulyng promise to come to Gravesend, on. the next day, into the rebels' camp, and proceeded himself with his forces to that town. As soon as they were gone, Lord Cobham sat down and wrote to Queen Mary a full account of the day's • proceedings. Knowing that his head was in jeopardy, his life at stake, he wrote the following address upon his letter to urge the messenger on :—"To the Queue's most excellent majestie —hast, hast, post hast, with all dyligence possible, for the lyfe, for the lyfe." This address occupies seven lines.
His letter did not avert the Queen's displeasure, for he and his sons were sent to the Tower, where the name of his younger son Thomas still appears carved upon a window splay of the Beauchamp tower. "Thomas Cobham, 1553." But they did not long remain in confinement. For the father, Count d'Egmont's intercession prevailed with the Queen; and the son's wife obtained grace for her husband; so that on the 24th of March 155| they were restored to liberty.
In connection with Wyatt's assault it should be mentioned that Mr. Murton found in the moat, amongst the fallen masonry of the outer court's west wall, cannon balls of ragstone, and others of iron. Prom Lord Cobham's description of the attack it is certain that Wyatt overcame the defences of the Outer Court, and was successfully battering the main entrance of the Inner Ward when Lord Cobham capitulated.
Probably the Castle was seldom used as a residence after that time; it seems to have been suffered soon to fall into decay, having existed little more than two hundred years in a habitable state. The park, however, was much longer kept up, and prized. When William Brooke, Lord Cobham, made his will in 1582 he directed that the "40 tunnes " of timber, bequeathed by him for repairing the buildings of Cobham College, should not be cut in the park at Coulyng, nor in Cobham Park.* After the attainder of the last Lord Cobham, we find that King James I appointed Sir Roger Aston to be the Keeper, or Ranger, of Coulyng Park; the docquet is still in existence, and bears date Decr 9th, 1603.
W. A. SCOTT ROBERTSON.
Reproduced by kind permission of: KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
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