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formed, by James I. This was enlarged and improved' by Charles I.; and many alterations and additions have since been made; the whole of the ground now occupied by the Dock, its offices, arsenal, &c. is nearly a mile in length, and contains handsome houses for the Commissioners; Storehouses, one of which is 220 yards long; a principal Masthouse, 240 feet long; a Rope-house, 1140 feet; a Sail-loft of very extensive dimensions; four Wet Docks; slips for building vessels of all sizes, and a variety of workshops, offices, &c. necessary for such an establishment. During the late war, many ships of the line were built and completely equipped here, and upwards of 4000 artisans and labourers were employed; their number is now much reduced.
The great importance of this place suggested the propriety of guarding it against an attack; and the extensive fortifications called the Lines were constructed about the middle of the last century; they have since been extended, and now include the naval establishments, the Upper and Lower Barracks, which are spacious and well situated, the Church of Chatham, and the Hamlet of Brompton. They are strengthened by ramparts, palisadoes, a broad and deep ditch, and a strong redoubt on the summit of the hill. In forming them, a great number of Roman remains were dug up, and upwards of 100 graves were opened, containing skeletons, swords, beads, pieces of armour, an urn filled with ashes, numerous coins, &c.
The Church was a very ancient edifice, mentioned in Domesday Book, but was nearly destroyed by fire early in the fourteenth century. It was subsequently rebuilt, and has been enlarged at various periods, as the increasing population of the town rendered it necessary; it was almost entirely re-edified in 1788; but possesses nothing remarkable.
An Hospital " for poor and leprous persons” was founded here in 1078 by Bishop Gundulph; it has long ceased to exist, but four persons, styled brethren, two of whom are clergymen, still enjoy the revenues. The east end of the Chapel, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, now forms part of a Chapel of Ease, and is situated in the High Street.
Nearly opposite is an Hospital for “ decayed ship-Wrights and seafaring men,” founded by Sir John Hawkins * in 1592, and which maintains ten poor men, who have been maimed or disabled in the naval service. The original building having fallen into decay, the present one, a neat brick edifice, was erected in its stead, about forty years ago, at the expense of one of the Governors.
CHISLEHURST, situated about 11 miles from London, was the birth-place of Sir Nicholas Bacon (father of the celebrated Lord Bacon), and of that great statesman Sir Francis Walsingham. Here also lived and died William Camden, to whose great work, entitled "
Britannia,” the topographical writers of this country are so much indebted. The house in which he resided, and where he is said to have written his Annals, is still called Camden Place, and is the property of the Marquis of Camden. This village is very pleasantly situated, and in the neighbourhood are many seats of the nobility and gentry. The Church contains several monuments.
CRANBROOK Is a small but respectable town, in the Weald of Kent, distant 14 miles from Maidstone, and 49 from London. It was formerly the centre of the clothing trade, introduced by Edward III. and prosecuted for some time with diligence and success; but this manufacture is now nearly extinct in this county,
The town consists principally of two well built streets, crossing each other at right angles; and the Church, near the centre, is a spacious and handsome building, with a tower at the west end. Here are also four places of worship for Dissenters; a Free Grammar School, founded and endowed by Queen Elizabeth ; and a good market, well supplied, on Wednesday and Saturday in each week. Cranbrook
* The establishment of the fund for wounded and maimed seamen called the Chest at Chatham, is also attributable to the exertions of this brave Admiral, and his colleague Sir Francis Drake. It is principally supported by a small deduction from the monthly wages of every seaman in the navy; and an average of about 5000 yearly pensions are paid from it
ns of the above description, beside the sums, called smart-money, which are given to those whose injuries are not so severe. The management is now vested in the Lords of the Admiralty, the Governor of Greenwich Hospital, &c.; and it has been removed to the latter place.
has also two annual fairs; one of which, held on Michaelmas Day, is celebrated for the sale of hops. The population in 1821 was 3683.
CRAYFORD is a small town two miles from Dartford,
and is worthy of notice, as the place at which the Britons under Vortimer were completely defeated by Hengist, in 457. Here was formerly a weekly market, which has been long disused. The Church contains a fine altar-piece. The population in 1821 consisted of 1866 persons, who are principally employed in the extensive calico printing establishments in the neighbourhood.
Crays (the), four pleasant villages about 12 miles from London, seated on the little river Cray, and distinguished as St. Mary's Cray, St. Paul's Cray, North Cray, and Foot's Cray. The first of these was formerly a market town, but the market house being destroyed by the great storm in 1703, and not being rebuilt, it has lost that distinction. The Church contains several ancient monuments. The other three have each a Church, possessing no claims to particular notice. The beauty of the situation has induced many noblemen and gentlemen to fix their residence in the neighbourhood; and near North Cray, among others, is the seat of the late Marquis of Londonderry, better known as Lord Castlereagh, and that of his former colleague, Lord Bexley. The population of the four villages is about 2000.
DARTFORD Is a pleasant and flourishing town, enlivened by
numerous equipages which pass through it in their way to and from the Continent and London, from which city it is distant 15 miles. It derives its name from a ford of the river Darent, on which it is situated, and on which are several mills employed in the manufacture of paper, flour, the crushing of seeds, &c.; there is also an extensive gunpowder manufactory; the Darent affords a communication with the Thames, and boats sail regularly to the metropolis.
This town is remarkable in history as being the residence of Wat Tyler, whose just resentment of an act of brutality committed in the enforcement of a tyrannical tax, produced one of the most formidable insurrections recorded in English history. A Nunnery was founded here by Edward III. and richly endowed; and on the Dissolution Henry VIII. appropriated it as a residence for himself; it does not appear, however, to have long enjoyed the honours of a palace, and the few buildings still left are occupied as a farm-house.
The Church is an ancient and convenient structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, and aisles, with an embattled tower; it contains many monuments, one of which is to the memory of Sir John Spielmann, a native of Germany, who introduced the manufacture of paper into England about two centuries ago. From the burial ground, on a hill at some distance from the church, is a fine view of the Thames and the surrounding country. In this town are two Dissenters' chapels, a small but convenient market-house, a house of correction, alms-houses, and other charitable establishments. The market day is Saturday, and a fair is held annually on August 2. The population, which is increasing, was in 1821 stated to be 3593.
DEAL, A well-known seaport, is situated 74 miles from London, and 18 from Canterbury; immediately opposite to that part of the Straits of Dover called the Downs, which being a general rendezvous for shipping of all descriptions, occasions a constant influx of visitors, and a great demand for every article of maritime supply. °Five hundred vessels have been known to ride at anchor at one time in this roadstead, which is about six miles wide, and eight long, and the GOODWIN SANDS, by which it is bounded on the south, though often fatal to mariners, are yet eminently useful when the wind is easterly, as they then serve as a pier, or breakwater, mitigating the fury and immensity of the waves, which it would otherwise be impossible for a ship to withstand. They extend about ten miles in length, from Ramsgate to Kingsdown; and as it has been found impracticable to erect a light-house on them, a floating light has been established near the northern extremity, which has proved very serviceable.
These sands have been traditionally represented as having been formerly an island belonging to Godwin, the powerful and ambitious Earl of Kent, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and swallowed up by the sea, as a signal mark of Divine vengeance on its guilty owner. Further inquiry, however, has shown, from the authority of historians who lived near the time of the submersion, that this event did not happen until the reign of Henry I., at least forty years after the death of Godwin; and that the same inundation overwhelmed a great portion of Flanders and the Low Countries.
Deal is divided into the Upper and the Lower town; of which the former is described by Leland as "a little fisher village, half a mile from the sea ;” and the latter was not then in existence, having been entirely raised since the beginning of the seventeenth century; the houses in this part are very irregularly built, and the streets narrow and dirty; but in the Upper town more attention has been paid to uniformity and neatness; and here is the Parish Church, a convenient structure, which has lately undergone considerable improvement and enlargement. There is a Chapel of Ease in the Lower town, erected in 1716, which is a well-built brick edifice; several chapels for Dissenters of various denominations; a national school; and an excellent market, well supplied, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The population in 1821 was 6801, but it is believed that the number is now considerably less, owing to the long continuance of peace having deprived the town of a great part of its former business of supplying the navy with stores, &c. The inhabitants are principally engaged in maritime occupations, and are particularly famous for boat-building, and as the most skilful and intrepid pilots and seamen in the world.
This town is mentioned in Domesday Book under the name of Addelam, and in 1229 is enumerated as a limb of the Cinque Port of Sandwich. It continued to be governed by officers appointed by the corporation of that town until 1699, when William III. granted to the inhabitants a Charter, by which they were empowered to choose a Mayor, twelve Jurats, twenty-four Common-Councilmen, a Recorder, Town Clerk, and other officers, for their local government;