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notice : : some thick walls and Gothic arches are entire, and a receptacle for holy water still to be seen in the cellar. The New TAVERN now occupies the spot; adjoining is a delightful prospect of that part of the Thames' styled the Hope, The chalky cliffs rising perpendicularly on the Kentish shore, with the distant view of the Essex hills on the opposite side, adds to the beauty of the prospect. Near this tavern was erected in 1778, a new battery mounting sixteen guns.
Milton Church is situated at the end of an agreeable enclosed walk to the east of the town. Over the porch, by the road leading from Gravesend to Rochester, is a curious south dial, west eight degrees, constructed by Mr. Giles, master of Gravesend school.
On the left of the road to Rochester, at the distance of twenty-four miles, is CHALK CHURCH; over the entrance are some very preposterous figures, illustrative, probably; of a give-ale, bequeathed by William May, of this parish, in 1512; he directed “ that his wife make every year for his soull, an obit, and to make in bread six bushells of wheat, and in drink ten bushells of mault, and in cheese twenty pence, to give to poor people for the health of his soull: and he ordered that, after the decease of his wife, his executors and feoffees should continue the obit before rehearsed for evermore.” Within, is little remarkable, except a monument erected to the memory of William Martin, with an inscription on a brass plate, denoting he died May 16, 1416.
After passing through Chalk turnpike, the road on the left hand leads to Higham, Cliffe, Cowling, and into the hundred of Hoo, which is the narrow tract of land situated between the Thames and Medway *.
Etymologists conjecture it to have taken its name from the Saxon word ho, or hoh, which signifies sometimes a heel, and sometimes the ham of the leg (whence the word hough, to hough or hamstring) because it runs out into a kind of a point like a hec), or lies in a bend between the two rivers, like a ham. Hollingshed the historian, who was a
In SHORNE church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and Paul, was buried Sir Henry de Cobham, sheriff of Kent, in the reigns of Edward I. and II. ; round the stone which covers him formerly had the following inscription: Icy gist Sir Henri de Cobeham chevalier seignour de Rondale. Dieu de sa alme, &c. The font is very curious, with sculptures of scripture history.
A small battery of four twenty-four pounders, similar to those at the Lower Hope Point, was raised in the marshes, bordering on the Thames in this parish, in 1796.
Higham had formerly a nunnery, built by king Stephen, in which his daughter Mary was first prioress. Its remains are now part of a farm house, not far from the church, in which is a tablet to the memory of Sir Francis Head, bart, who resided at the Hermitage, where he rebuilt the mansion and improved the grounds. He died in 1768. Here are also some antient memorials for the dead, particularly a large tomb of grey marble, without inscription or date, probably raised over prioress JOANE DE HAdlow, who was buried by Hamo, bishop of Rochester, in 1329 *.
Kentish man, has observed, according to Harris, that Hoo, in his time, was nearly an island; and of the Hundred of Hoo, he said the people had this proverbial rhime:
“ He that rideth in the Hundred of Hoo,
“ Besides pilfering seamen, shall find dirt enow." Within this hundred, is a parish which bears the same name, but which antiently was more frequently denominated St. Werburgh, from the saint to whom the church is dedicated. Mr. Brydges, in his His: tory of Northamptonshire, says that St. Werburgh, or Werburge, was the daughter of king Wulphere, and set over a monastery of nuns at Wedon in that county, by her uncle king Etheldred. By this authority, we are likewise informed, that St, Welburge is celebrated by some writers, for driving away the geese that used to infect the neighbourhood; and the vulgar superstitious now observe, that no wild geese are ever seen to settle and graze in Wedon field.
* Plautius, the Roman general under the emperor Claudius, in the year 43, is said to have passed the river Thames from Essex into Kent, near the mouth of it, with his army, in pursuit of the flying Britons, who were better acquainted with the firm and fordable parts of it than him
- The incumbent of Cliff, is said to have episcopal juris, diction. It was supposed to have been the place for holding synods and councils; but it certainly was of more importance than at present; the church, dedicated to St. Helen, and built in the form of a cross, is large and handsome, with an embattled tower, containing six bells. The windows were formerly ornamented with painted glass, of which some rich specimens remain. In the chancel, behind the screen, in the south wall, is a Piscina, and three very elegant stone seats, finished with light pointed ca. nopies, of rich workmanship. An antient tomb, under a pointed arch, supported by episcopal heads, is opposite. A stone, with an inscription round the verge, in Saxon capitals, for Jone la Femme Johan Ram, is in the middle aisle; and in the north aisle is another, having a half-length brass of a female, with her hands raised as in prayer, for Ellenore de Clive; the other monuments are not remarkable. Here is still preserved a very curious and antient Patine, of silver gilt, six inches in diameter. It is beauti. fully embellished with blue and green enamel, representing the Deity, sitting with his arms extended, and supporting self. From East Tilbury to Higham, is by many supposed to have been the course of this passage. The probability of this having been a frequented ford in the time of the Romans, is strengthened by the visible zemains of a caussey, near thirty feet wide, leading from the bank of the Thames through the marshes by Higham, southward; and it seems to have been continued cross the London high road on Gad's Hill to Sharne, Ridgeway, (implying the way to the ford or passage; Rhyd, in the antient British, signifying a ford;) about half a mile beyond which it joined the Roman Watling Street road, near the entrance into Cobham Park. The charge of maintaining that part of the caussey which was in the parish of Higham, as also of a bridge, was found before the judges upon their circuit, to belong to the prioress of the nunnery, Between Tilbury and ligham there was a ferry for many ages: and accounts of it are to be met with as late as the reign of Henry VIII, before which Higham was a place much used for shipping and unshipping of corn and goods in large quantities. In the reign of queen Elizabeth there seems tą have been a furt or bulwark at Higham for the defence of the river Thames; the yearly expence of which to her majesty, for the pay of the captains, soldiers, &c. maintained in it was 28l. 2s. Qu.---Husted,
bis son on the cross, with an olive branch in the left hand, and the Gospel in the right. Round the verge is inscribed, in the antient text letter, curiously ornamented with sprigs of roses between each word, alluding to the subject:
Benedicamus Patrem et Filiam cum Spiritu Saneto. Near Cliff is COWLING CASTLE, so named from the parish wherein it is situated. It was built by John lord Cobham, who in 1399 obtained from Richard II. a licence for its erection. There is a tradition, that he, fearing its strength might some give umbrage at court, to obviate it, caused the following lines to be cut on a scroll, with an appendant seal of his arms, in imitation of a deed or charter, and fixed on the eastermost tower of the chief entrance, where it is said to be still visible, engraved on brass.
Knoweth that beth and shall be
This is chartre and witnessing. In this castle resided the pious and intrepid Sir John Oldcastle, who, in the reign of king Henry V. fell a victim to Popish cruelty. In the year 1553, Sir Thomas Wyat, in his insurrection against queen Mary, attempted to take this castle. Kilburn says, “ the gate was broke open with his ordinance," but it was so well defended by the lord Cobham, its owner, that Sir Thomas was at length obliged to desist. “ The ruins,” says Harris, “shew it to have been a very strong place, and the moat round it is very deep. The gatehouse is still standing, which is fortified with a portcluse, or portcullis, and machiolated: it hath also such kind of towers for its defence, as were used in those days." The present remains consist of a handsome gate fronting the south, flanked by two round towers; on the west are the walls of a square fort, surrounded by a ditch or moat, formerly supplied with water from the Thames, but now almost choaked up. This building seems to have been independent of the gate, which probably led to the mansion,
on the site whereof stands a farm house *. Cowling church, dedicated to St. James, has in the chancel a range of trefoil arches, in relief, a cúrious piscina, and other ornaments.
Returning to the Kent road, at Shorne, we come to Gad's Hill, supposed to be the spot on which Henry prince of Wales, son of king Henry IV, and his dissolute associates, robbed the Sandwich carriers, and the auditors who were carrying money to his father's exchequer t.
* Kentish Traveller.
+ Phillipot has hinted a surmise that this felonious frolic might have been played on Shooter's Hill, but tradition countenances the former opinion. And Shakespeare, besides distinguishing one of the thieves by the name of Gad's Hill, having repeatedly fixed the scene of this transaction on this part of the road, makes it not unlikely that he thought himself warranted in so doing, by a passage he had discovered in some English chronicle, play, or ballad. Theobald had read an old play, called the Famous Victories of Henry V. in which the scene opens with Henry's robberies, and Gad's Hill is there named as one of the gang. Mr. Wartoni also mentions his having seen an old ballad, by Faire, called Gad's Hill; and he adds, that in the Registers of the Stationers, among seven ballettes, licenced to William Bedell and Richard Lante, one is entitled “ The Robbery at Gad's Hill;" under the year 1588. The learned author concludes with observing, “I know not how far it might contribute to illustrate Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth: but the title is promising." It is the remark of an ingenious writer, that great events or actions stamp a veneration on the spot where they were performed, and impress the spectator with lively sentiments of pleasure many ages after. This observation seems to be, to a high degree, pertinent, when applied to the draunatic works of a deservedly-admired poet, who has only related and embellished incidents, perhaps of a doubtful authority, or, if strictly true, of but little importance. Not one of Shakespeare's plays is more read than his first part of king Henry IV. and, of the many travellers who have been diverted with perusing the dialogues between the prince and Falstaff, there are, perhaps, very few who will not experience a renewal of their mirth upon being informed, that they are riding near the supe posed scene of these fictitious conversations: and, if ever they were fortunate enough to see the Fasstaff deseribed by the poet represented by the late Mr. Quin, who was unrivalled in that character, the recollection of what excited laughter in the theatre will not fail of raising a smile on Gad's Hill. To persons of imaginations not over fanciful, the figure