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It consists of three floors: in the lower room are various Indian weapons, armour, &c. brought as trophies from Sedroog Castle. The upper stories are neatly fitted up; on the cieling of the first is a series of views, in six compartments, of the relative situation of the feet and fortress on the day of the assault. The summit is embattled, and has turrets at the angles. From the windows and roof, the pro. spects are uncommonly extensive, and very rich; they include a great part of Essex, Kent, and Surrey; with the river Thames, and the metropolis. This tower was erected by Lady James, who resided with her husband, Sir Wil. liam James, at Park Place Farm, near Eltham, Their daughter and heiress married the late Thomas Boothby Parkyns, first lord Rancliffe, whose son, George Augustus Henry Anne Parkyns, lord Rancliffe, has recently come of age, and is now owner of this building, and its surrounding grounds *.
one thousand persons, ran out of the fort, aud embarking in seven or eight large boats, attempted to make their escape to fort Goa; but they were prevented by the English ketches, who took them all. The Protector now directed her fire only against fort Goa; where the enemy, after suffering a severe cannonade, hung out a flag as a signal of surrender, but whilst the Morattoes were marching to take possession of it, the governor perceiving that the commodore had not yet taken possession of Severndroog, got into a boat with some of his most trusty men, and crossed over to the island, hoping to be able to maintain the fort until he should receive assistance from Dabul, which is in sight of it. Upon this the Protector renewed her fire upon Severndroog; and the commodore finding that the governor wanted to protract the defence until night, when it was not to be doubted that some boats from Dabul would endeavour to throw succours into the place, he landed half his seamen, under cover of the fire of the ships, who with great intrepidity ran up to the gate, and cutting down the sally-port with their axes, forced their way into it; on which the garrison surrendered: the other two forts on the main land had by this time hung out flags of truce, and the Morattoes took possession of them. This was all the work of one day, in which the spirited resolution of commodore James destroyed the timorous prejudices which had for twenty years been entertained of the impracticability of reducing any of Angria's fortified harbours.—Brayley's Illustration of the Works of Bloomfield. Orme's Hindostan. * Beauties of England, Vol. VII.
On the summit of the hill, which is ascertained by Mr. Bonnycastle, of the royal military academy, to be four hundred and ten feet perpendicular height above the low water mark at Woolwich, is the mineral spring before mentioned, the properties of which were published by William Godbid, in 1673.
Having conducted our readers successfully beyond the view of the metropolis, we think it prudent to state that it cannot be expected we should give detailed accounts of the several parishes through which we must necessarily pass in our perambulation, when it is considered that the Parochial History of Kent alone, by Mr. Halsted, takes up four volumes in folio; that for Surrey, by Manning, two volumes in folio; and the other counties in equal proportions: we will not however neglect what is striking or profitable to be known; and as a specimen we mention that East WICKHAM formerly belonged to lord Lovell, the minion of Richard III. It afterwards escheated to the crown, and came by various grants to the family of Leigh, a coheiress of which family having married into that of Bennet, it continues in their possession. The antient manor house of the Leigh's has been taken down. The church is small and old ; within are some brasses, particularly one containing small busts of a man and woman, with the following inscription in Saxon characters : JOHAN DE BLADIGDONE ET S. Another brass, covered by a pew, has the effigy of William Payne, yeoman of the guard, who died in 1568, dressed in the uniform of bis office. This has been engraved in Thorpe's Custumale Roffense. East Wickham is only a chapelry to Plumsted, an unwhole some marshy parish on the banks of the Thames, adjoining to Woolwich.
This place was given by king Edgar, in 960, to St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, of which the abbot and monks were deprived by the rebellious Godwin, earl of Kent, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and bestowed on his fourth son Tostan. The king however restored the estate to the abbey, with which it continued till Edward's
decease, when it was again seized by Tostan, who being afterwards slain in a rebellion against his brother and sovereign Harold II. Plumsted was claimed by the crown. William I. bestowed it on his brother Odo, who re-granted it to the abbey; the abbot and monks obtained many privileges from king John, and they had quiet possession till their general dissolution, when Henry VIII. granted it to Sir Edward Boughton, of Burwash Court, of whose descendants it was purchased, in 1685, by John Michel, Esq. of Richmond, Surrey, whose son John devised it, in 1736, with other estates, to the “ Provost and scholars of Queen's College, Oxford, for the purpose of maintaining eight waster-fellows, and four bachelor-scholars," on that foundation : to these were added, by an act of parliament pas. sed in the year 1769, “ four under-graduate exhibitioners.” The church is an old structure, with a neat embattled tower of brick, containing four bells. Among other sepulchral memorials, is one in memory of Dr. BENJAMIN BARNETT, prebendary of Glocester, and vicar of Plum-ted, who died in 1:07, aged fifty-seven; and an elegant mural monument for John LJDGBIRD, Esq. of Shooter's Hill, who died in 1771. The marshes of Plumsted were first inclosed, in the the reign of Edward the First, by the monks of Lesnes Abbey ; from which period, frequent coinmissions were issued by the crown, for viewing the banks, and repairing the breaches. Through insufficient attention, however, upwards of two thousand acres, in this and Erith parish, were inundated in the time of Henry the Eighth; and these were not wholly recovered till the reign of James the First *.
Erith is in many antient writings denominated Lesnes; but this latter was properly only a manor in Erith parish, and seems to have assumed the leading name from the famous abbey of canons regular, sometimes called Westwood, which stood upon the demesnes of the manor of Lesnes. It was situated about a mile and three quarters to the west of Erith church, in the road leading to Plumsted
* Beauties of England. Dugdale's Hist. of Embanking. Vol. V. No. 107.
and Woolwich. Richard de Lucy, one of the grand jus. ticiaries of this kingdom, in the reign of king Henry II. was the founder of this religious house ; a gentleman deservedly eminent as a soldier, a statesman, and a lawyer, which different provinces he executed with fidelity to his prince, and a conscientious regard to the true interests of the nation. It was begun by him not quite two years before his death; and, after he had finished it, he retired from the active world, and, it is said, became the prior of his own convent. The king, unwilling to lose the counsel and assistance of so able and experienced a servant, earnestly endeavoured to dissuade him from entering into this idle and useless scheme of life, but it was a vain attempt. Influenced by the superstitious prejudices of the age, he thought the putting on a monkish cowl would render his passage to heaven more certain. Richard de Lucy, his only son Godfrey, bishop of Winchester, and others of the family, were buried in the church belonging to this religious house. Some of their tombs and coffins were discovered in the year 1630, by workmen employed to dig out stones from the rubbish of this decayed fabric; and there was one monument in particular, which, from its being placed in the choir on the north side of the altar, is judged to have been that of the founder. It was forced open, and within a stone coffin, in a sheet of lead, the remains of a carcase lay enwrapped, whole and undisjointed; and upon the head some hair, or something like hair, appeared. By the direction of Sir John Epsley, at that time lord cî the manor, the monument was again covered, and he planted a bay tree over it. In 1753, when Dr. Stukeley made his pilgrimage, as he terms it, to this abbey, he thought the tree to be by far the finest of the kind be had ever seen ; but the two principal stems of it are since perished, and, from the weakness of the root, it is not likely long to put forth any branches to serve for a memorial of the place of interment of this once eminent personage. Dr. Stukeley was of opinion, that the farm house standing upon the premises was the original mansion or seat of the founder, in which he