About Thomas Polhill
David III was 26 years old when he succeeded in 1658 and within six months had purchased the extensive property of Chipstead Place, Sevenoaks, from Ralph Suckley (36). This spacious house in the parish of Chevening was surrounded by grounds of great beauty ornamented with fine timber. (12). David was appointed Sheriff of the County in 1662. His marriage with Martha May of Glyndbourne in 1665 lasted only a few months died the same year leaving all the estates to his brother Thomas.
Thomas was then living in Clapham, Surrey, where later generations of the senior line also settled down. On succeeding to the inheritance he moved to Otford and sold Chipstead House and three hundred acres of its land to Sir Nicholas Strode, but retaining the remainder of the Place. (11 and 36). Emboldened perhaps by the unexpected improvement in his fortunes he pressed his suit with Elizabeth, daughter and coheir to Henry Ireton, (Lord Lieut. of Ireland) by Bridget, daughter of Oliver Cromwell. The Ireton family came from Attenhorough in Hottinghamshire. (13 and 22) but are by tradition connected also with Clapham, Currey and Sepham, Farm, Shoreham, Kent (48). The union of a gentlemen of Kent with the daughter of such a pronounced Parliamentarian as Henry Ireton so soon after the subjugation of the county and the sack of Maidstone by General Fairfax, another of Cromwell's men, is inexplicable on normal grounds. Perhaps Thomas and Elizabeth were drawn towards each other by personal acquaintance at Otford or Clapham, and Cupid overrode all political feelings. Their union reflects the relief felt in the county on the death of Cromwell, and shown by the action of "all the people of Kent flocking to Dover in 1660 to greet King Charles II. It was held that not only the King but the old families and county gentry were restored". Be that it may, Elizabeth and Thomas were married in 1666 and the blood of the Independents, Cromwell and Ireton, mingled with that of the country gentry in the Polhills and the children that followed. (48).