The History of Bishopsbourne by Edward Hasted

The History and Topographical Survey of Kent: Volume 9 was written by Edward Hasted and published in 1800.  It gives a comprehensive history of the parish from Roman times up until Hasted’s day. Hasted’s entire book is available online, but you cannot go directly from this page to online sources.  So, to read Hasted’s fascinating account, simply click on the Useful Links tab  (to your left) where you should click on the link A History fo Bishopsbourne.  This will take you directly to the relevant pages of British History Online.

Hasted’s book is interesting not just because of what it tells you about Bishopsbourne, but also because of the way it tells it and the things that Hasted thought his readers would be interested in.  He focusses on the lineages, coats of arms, marriages etc of the various families that owned parts of the parish and the houses that comprise it, showing how the various estates came to have the form they do today.  In the course of all this, the reader gets not only an insight into how Bishopsbourne developed, but also of how people looked at the world and what was important to them at the time that Hasted was writing.  In this sense the book is not only about history, it actually is a piece of history itself.  Reading it is like going back to another age, and it gives one a fascinating insight into the Georgian mind.