AT THE SOUTHERN extremity of this parish stood a mansion called CHAFFORD-PLACE, which was for many descents the property and residence of the family of Roe or Rowe, a branch of those of Rowe's place, in Aylesford, in this county. But in the reign of king Henry VIII. it was come into the possession of the family of Rivers, descended from those of River-hill, in Hampshire, one of whom, Sir Bartholomew Rivers, lived in the reign of king Edward IV. to whom he was firmly attached. . The coat of arms, together with the crest of Rivers, viz. A bull at gaze, was carved on the gateway of Chafford-house, built by one of this family. Peacham says, the grant of this coat was in the hands of Sir George Rivers, of Chafford, and might be seen in Claus anno 5 king Edward IV. 4 M. 12 intus, in the tower of London.
His son, William Rivers, had a command in the reigns of king Edward IV. and king Henry VII. and by his will in 1506, ordered his body to be buried in the cathedral church of Rochester. He left by Alice his wife Richard his son and heir, who was father of Richard Rivers, of Penshurst, steward of the lands of Edward, duke of Buckingham; his son, Sir John Rivers, was of Chafford, and served the office of lordmayor in the 15th year of the reign of queen Elizabeth.
His grandson, John Rivers, esq. was created a baronet in the 19th year of king James I. and having married Dorothy, only daughter and heir of Thomas Potter, of Well street, in Westerham, procured an act of parliament in the 21st year of that reign, to alter the tenure and custom of his lands, those of Sir George Rivers, his father, as well as those of Thomas Potter, esq. deceased, above-mentioned, being then of the nature of gavelkind, and to make them descendible according to the course of common law, and to settle the inheritance of them upon him, by dame Dorothy above mentioned his wife.