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fine beach, and extensive and varied prospects*, have rendered it a favourite watering-place, it is now in a very flourishing state. All the usual concomitants of a fashionable summer resort are to be found here, as Baths of various descriptions, Libraries, Readingrooms, respectable Lodging-houses, and a very neat and convenient Theatre; while the interests of the commercial part of the inhabitants and visitors have been consulted, in the formation of good Docks, and the erection of a handsome Custom-house, within the last twenty years.
Here is also a Victualling Office, on an extensive scale, from which all ships belonging to the Royal Navy, in the Downs, are supplied; the house in which the Agent resides was formerly a Maison Dieu, or Hospital, founded by Hubert de Burgh, in the early part of the reign of Henry III., for the maintenance of certain poor brethren and sisters, and the reception of pilgrims; it was converted to its present use by Queen Mary.
Beside the buildings already enumerated, Dover contains several places of worship for various denominations of Dissenters; a Free School, in which 200 boys and the same number of girls are educated; a School of Industry for 50 girls; a Dispensary, a Savings' Bank, a Mechanics Institution, a convenient Market House and Town Hall, and a Gaol.
* On this subject Mr. Brayley observes, “ The broad beach lying at the embouchure of the valley, the romantic view of the Cliffs and Castle, the singular situation of the buildings, the entrance of the port terminated by an extensive sea prospect, with the French coast in the distance, and the many vessels passing up and down Channel, combine, from various points, in the composition of a series of views, which, for grandeur and impressive effect, are not to be equalled by any on the shores of Britain.”
“The bold and high cliff that breasts the surge on the south-west side of Dover Harbour, in front of the Heights, bears the name of the immortal Shakspeare, whose sublime description of this spot is almost without parallel.
“ There is a Cliff, whose high and bending head
Here's the place:- How fearful
The government of this place, by a charter granted by Charles II., is vested in a Mayor, twelve Jurats, and thirty-six Common-Councilmen, (of whom two are chosen Town Clerk and Chamberlain), who are annually elected in St. Mary's Church, where also the election of Members of Parliament takes place by the freemen, whose number is about 1800.
A Market is held here every Wednesday and Saturday, and there are two annual fairs, the principal of which, called St. Martin's, is held near the site of the ancient priory of that name, commences on the 220 November, and continues during ten days. A considerable quantity of paper is manufactured in the neighbouring villages of Charlton, Buckland, &c.; and there are also extensive flour mills in these places. The population of Dover, including the above villages, was, in 1821, 11,468; but as this did not include the garrison, and as the town has been on the increase since that period, it is probable that the real number at present does not fall far short of 18,000 or 20,000 persons.
The Harbour, which the Romans judged of sufficient importance to erect a light-house on each of the hills which command its entrance, for a long period occupied the attention of our sovereigns, who were justly aware of its great consequence; Henry VII. expended large sums in improving it, and his successor commenced the erection of a pier, of which his death prevented the completion, after he had laid out £80,000 on the works. In the following reigns of Edward VI. and Mary very little was done towards the finishing of this great work; but in that of Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh presented a memorial to her majesty, setting forth the vast importance of the undertaking; and she thereupon issued a Commission for that purpose, which at length, and at great expense,succeeded in establishing a secure haven. James I., in 1606, in order still further to secure it, granted a Charter to eleven persons, by the title of
The Warden and Assistants of the Port of Dover," of whom the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Lieutenant of Dover Castle, and the Mayor of the
town for the time being, were always to be the principal, by which they were invested with certain powers, a revenue arising from the tonnage of vessels, &c.; and a large plot of land near the Pier was granted to them, to enable them to keep it in repair. These grants proved, however, insufficient for the purpose; and after many ineffectual attempts to improve and secure it, it was in danger, about the year 1700, of becoming totally useless; but a seasonable grant from Parliament, shortly afterwards, enabled the Warden and Assistants to avert the threatened destruction; and its revenues increasing, several jetties, sluices, &c. have since been constructed, by which it is at present kept in a respectable condition, and ships of 400 or 500 tons now enter with safety.
There is a daily communication from hence to Calais, Boulogne, and other parts of the Continent; and the number of persons continually passing to and fro is immense; for the reception of these temporary visitors numerous Inns and Hotels, whose accommodations are of a very superior description, have been established.
In this town, in 1660, was born Dr. White Kennet, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough, celebrated for his antiquarian knowledge, and for his conduct in the polemical disputes which agitated the nation in the beginning of the eighteenth century. He died in December, 1928, having founded a valuable Antiquarian and Historical Library at Peterborough.
Philip Yorke, first Earl of Hardwicke, was also a native of Dover, being born in St. James's parish, in 1690. He was descended of a good family, and being called to the Bar in 1714, soon acquired professional eminence, and, after filling the offices of Attorney and Solicitor General, was, in 1733, appointed Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and in 1737 Lord Chancellor, having been previously created a peer, by the title of Baron Hardwicke. During a period of nearly twenty years, in which he filled the highest legal situation in this country, so just and well-considered were his decisions, that no more than three of them were appealed from, and even these were subsequently affirmed by the House of Lords. In 1756 he resigned the great seal, and retired from office, regretted by all ranks, having, three years before, received the title of an Earl, as a particular mark of the respect which George II, entertained for him. After about eight years of tranquil retirement, he closed his well-spent life in the year 1764, leaving behind him the character of one of the most upright and able Judges that ever sat upon the Bench.
ELTHAM, a small town, beautifully situated on a rising ground, eight miles from London, had formerly a royal palace, the favourite residence of many of our monarchs. Here, in 1270, Henry III. celebrated the Christmas festival with great magnificence; Edward II. frequently dwelt here, and one of his sons, from that circumstance called John of Eltham, was born here. Edward IV. repaired the palace at great expence, and many of the succeeding, sovereigns down to Henry VIII. occasionally resided in it. Since that period it has been abandoned by its royal possessors, and the solitary evidence of its ancient grandeur is the Great Hall, now used as a barn! This still noble building is 100 feet long, 56 wide, and about 60 high; the roof is of timber, richly ornamented, and bearing a general resemblance to that of Westminster Hall. The farm-house to which it is attached, stands in the midst of an enclosure, encircled by a stone wall, and a broad and deep moat, now nearly dry, but crossed by two bridges.
The Church contains several monuments, and in the church-yard lie the remains of Bishop Horne, who was born at Otham in this county, in 1732; in 1763 was elected President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and after a variety of minor preferments, was installed Bishop of Norwich, in June 1791; this dignity he held but for a few months, dying in the following January. He was the author of several works; the most popular is his “ Commentary on the Psalms,” which has gone through numerous editions.
Eltham had formerly a weekly market, but this has been long discontinued; its population, in 1921, was 1883.
Erith, a small village on the Thames, 13 miles
from London, is advantageously situate near the upper part of Long Reach, where the homewardbound East India ships discharge a part of their cargo, and those going out take in ballast. The Church is an ancient structure, at some distance from the village, consisting of a nave, chancel, aisles, and a low tower; and its venerable spire, overgrown with ivy, forms a picturesque object from the river; the interior contains several monuments. Erith was formerly a market town, but is so no longer; population, in 1821, 1363 persons.
EYNESFORD, situated on the Darent, 18 miles from London, and about an equal distance from Maidstone, is a small village, with 1077 inhabitants, possessing an ancient Church, built in the form of a cross, with a tower and spire, and a very curious ornamented doorway of Saxon or early Norman architecture. Near the village are the ruins of Eynesford Castle, the walls of which are nearly entire, four feet in thickness and 40 feet high, enclosing an area of almost an acre in extent.
FARNINGHAM, a village on the Maidstone road, about 17 miles from London, has a bridge of two arches over the Darent, and is principally noticeable for its large and ancient Church, containing a ourious font, of an octagonal form, about four feet high, each of its sides being carved into a representation of the ceremonies of Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, Marriage, the Elevation of the Host, the Administration of the Sacrament, &c.; the figures, though rudely executed, are expressive, but have been niuch defaced by the application of paint. The population, in 1821, was 586, but since that period the inhabitants have become more numerous, and corn and paper mills have been established.
FEVERSHAM, OR FAVERSHAM, A very ancient town, which gives name to the hundred in which it is situated, stands on an arm of the Swale, navigable for vessels of about 150 tons burthen, several of which are constantly employed, principally in the Baltic trade; beside which very considerable quantities of corn, fruit, hops, and