The Hook family played an important role in the life of Snodland from the mid nineteenth century, when they moved to the parish from Gloucestershire. As owners of the local papermill, they were the main employers in the village, and played an important role in local affairs.
The paper mill at Snodland had been active for more than 100 years when Samuel Hook and his son Charles took it over in 1854-5. It had suffered mixed fortunes in preceding years. Charles Townsend Hook had the enterprise and energy to turn it into a very successful business.
The Hooks were followers of the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, which they introduced to Snodland. Four families formed the initial Swedenborg society and met in a private house, and later in the ‘Veles’, the Hooks own home. By 1881 the congregation had outgrown this building so the Swedenborg Church was built in the High Street, and was consecrated in June 1882. The Hooks also provided most of the money for the Swedenborg Church.