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the Medway above the Ordnance Wharf, round an oblong plot of ground, measuring about half a mile in width, and a mile broad, to beyond the extremity of the Dock Yard, where they again join with the river. Within this area, besides the naval establishments, are included the Upper and Lower Barracks, which have been built for the garrison, the church of Chatham, and the hamlet of BROMPTON: the latter consists of nearly five hundred houses, very plea. santly situated on the summit of the high ground to the south-east of the yard; and almost all of which have been erected within memory. The Lower Barracks are spacious and uniform buildings of brick, inclosing a large qúa. drangular area. The Upper Barracks, which stand near Brompton, are also of brick, and extremely spacious and convenient. They rise one above the other on the acclivity of the hill, and having inclosed courts, occupy a considerable tract of ground. The garrison consists of five companies of soldiers, and a battalion of artillery. The lines are strengthened by ramparts, pallisadoes, and a deep broad ditch ; and are also defended by a strong redoubt, made on the summit of the hill towards the south-east. Various important additions have been since made, and another act was passed for the purchase of lands, and for further security, in 1782. *
From the variety of Roman remains that were dug up in forming the lines, &c. it seems probable that the Romans had a summer camp in this vicinity: they certainly had a · burial place here. Mr. Douglas caused to be opened upwards of one hundred graves, and made drawings and notes of his discoveries, of which he afterwards gave parti. culars in his Britannica Nenia.
The Church stands on the chalk cliff above the ordnance wharf, and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Great part of the antient fabric was destroyed by fire about the middle of the fourteenth century; and in order to enable the inhabitants to rebuild it, the pope, by a bull dated 1352, granted, to all who should contribute their assistance to so pious a work, a relaxation from penances, for a year and forty days. * Hasted. Beauties of England.
It was nearly rebuilt in 17788; the expences being partly defrayed by brief, and partly by parochial contributions. It is a neat edifice of brick, nearly square: the west wall, though greatly altered and modernized, formed a part of the an. tient Norman church, mentioned in Domesday Book, and still exhibits, on the inside, some remains of semicircular arches, with zig-zag mouldings. In the old chancel, on the south side, was a most elegant triple stone seat. The covings of the arches were ornamented with trefoils and quatrefoils, beautifully sculptured with laurel, oak, vine, and rose branches. The whole back part of the easternmost stall was wrought into oak, vine, and other branches, intertwined; the leaves and fruits being executed in a very superior style: various small animals were represented devouring the fruits ; and among them appeared a goat, a dog, a parrot, a serpent, and a man in a tunic and girdle, as if watching them from between the branches *.
* In pulling down the old church, among the materials with which the east window had been filleri up, were discovered several beautiful fragments of sculpture, richly painted and gilt, of free-stone and marble. Among these fragments was a headless figure of a virgin and child, having a mantle fastened across the breast by a fibula, set with glass in imitation of precious stones. This was, in all probability, the figure of Our Lady of Chatham, who, in the Roman Catholic times, was highly celebrated for her miracles; and of whom Lambard gives the following curious relation :
“ I thinke it not amisse (Perambulation of Kent, p. 286) to commit faithfully to writing, what I have received credibly by hearing concerning the idols, sometime knowen by the names of our Lady, and the Roode of Chatham, and of Gillingham. It happened (say they) that the dead corps of a man (lost through shipwracke belike) was cast on land in the parishe of Chatham, and being there taken up, was by some charitable persons committed to bonest burial within their church-yard : which thing was no sooner done, but our Lady of Chatham, finding her selfe offended therewith, arose by night, and went in person to the house of the parishe clearke, whiche then was in the streete a good distance from the churche, and making a noyse at his window, awaked bim. This man, at the first, as commonly it fareth with men disturbed in their rest, demaunded somewhat roughly, who was there? But when he understoode, by her own aunswere, that it was the Lady of Chatham, he chaunged his note, and inoste inildely asked ye cause of her comming:
MONUMENTS. An inscription for HeveN BOROUGH, one of the four principal masters in ordinary of the navy in the reign of Elizabeth. Died in 1584. In the year 1553, he discovered tbe northern passage by St. Nicholas to Russia, together with “ the coasts therto adjoyning, to wit, Lappia, (Lapland,) Nova Zembla, and the country of Samoyeda. At his setting fourth of England, he was accompanied with two other shippes, Sir Hugh Willobie beinge admirall of the fleete, who, with all the company of the said two
she tolde hiin, that there was lately buryed (ncere to the place where she was honoured) a sinfull person, which so oftended her eye with his gastly grinning, that, unless he were removed, she could not but (to the great griefe of good people) withdrawe her selfe from that place, and cease her wonted miraculous working ainongst them: and therefore she willed him to go with her, to the end that, by his helpe, she might take him up, and cast him againe into the river. The clerke obeyed, arose, and waited on her toward the churche: but the good ladie (not wonted to walk) waxed wearie of the labour, and therefore was inforced, for very want of breath, to sit downe in a bushe by the way, and there to rest her: and this place (forsooth) as also the whole track of their jours ney, remaining ever after a greene pathe, the towne dwellers were wont to shew. Now after a while, they go forward againe, and comming to the church-yard, digged up the body, and conveyed it to the water side, where it was first found. This done, our Ladye shrancke againe into her shryne; and the clerke peaked home, to patche up his broken sleepe: but the corps now eftsoones floted up and downe the river, as it did before: whiche thing being at length espyed by them of Gillingham, it was once more taken up, and buried in their church-yard. But see what followed upon it; not onely the Roode of Gillingham, (say they,) that a whyle before was busie in bestowing myracles, was now deprived of all that his former virtue; but also ye very earth and place wher this carckase was laide, did continually, for ever after, setle, and sinke downewarde. -This tale, receaved by tradition from the elders, was long since both commonly reported, and faithfully credited, of the vulgar sort; which, although happely you shal not at this day learne at every man's mouth, (the iinage being now many yeres sithence defaced,) yet many of the aged number remember it well, and in the time of darkenesse, Hæc erat in toto notissima fabula mundo.” The statue of Our Lady of Chathamn had probably stood under the entrance arch to the north porch of the old church, where there was a niche and bracket, with angels at the sides, extending their wings, as if over the head of the Virgin, and others bending prostrate towards her.
shippes, were frozen to death in Lappia, the said winter." Another to the memory of Sir John Cox, knt. an eminent naval commander against the Dutch, who was captain of the duke of York's ship in “ the expedition against the Hollanders,in the year 1672; and there, in fight with the said enemy, on the 2d of May, was unhappily slain by a great shot, in the forty-ninth year of his age.” The monument of Sir EDWARD GREGORY, knt. comınissioner of the navy. Died 1713. He bequeathed 1001. to the minister and churchwardens of this parish, for the use of the poor. With this sum, South Sea stock was purchased in 1714; and six years afterwards, the trustees having sufficient discernment to secure the advantage they had obtained by the general infatuation, sold out at the very advanced rate of 7501. An estate of thirty-two acres, called Pett's Farm, in the parish of Barham, was then purchased, the rent of which is annually distributed to the necessitous poor. In digging a grave in the church-yard, in the year 1772, a petrified human hand was found, grasping the brass bilt of a sword. The hand was partly matilated, and all the other parts of the body were perished, as well as the blade of the sword : it was afterwards deposited in the Leverian Mu
The VICTUALLING OFFICE stands near the entrance of the town from Rochester, and is composed of several extensive ranges of building, appropriated to the various important concerns of victualling the royal shipping lying at Chatham, at Sheerness, and at the Nore.
An antient mansion, in the same street, now let out in tenements, formerly belonged to the family of Pett, celebrated ship-builders in the reigns of James I. Charles I. and II. The chimney-piece in the principal room is of wood, curiously carved, the upper part being divided into compartments by carratydes: the central compartment contains the family arms, viz. on a fesse, a lion passant guardant between three pellets. On the back of the grate is a cast of Neptune, standing erect in his car, with Tritons blowing conches, &c. and the date 1650.
* Beauties of England. 5
The path for foot passengers on the south side of the High Street, is raised between twenty and thirty feet above the carriage road.
Chatham has been frequently visited by our sovereigns. On Sunday, August 10, 1606, James I. accompanied by his queen, her father Christian IV. of Denmark, Henry prince of Wales, the chief officers of state, privy counsellors, and many of the nobility. The ship named the Elizabeth-James had been magnificently decorated to receive the royal guests, who dined on board; the provisions being dressed in a great hoy, called the Kitchen,' which was stationed in the midst of a bridge of masts, about six feet wide, and continued from the ship to the shore, a distance of two hundred and forty yards. On the departure of the royal visitors, a tremendous peal was fired from nearly one thousand two hundred pieces of ordnance, all discharged on a given signal.
Before the year 1772, this town was one of the most disagreeable in Kent; even the High Street being full of annoyances, and the road dangerous. Many improvements have been since made; but the streets are still irregular and narrow. The houses have been mostly erected since the reign of Elizabeth, as the progressive increase of the population, arising from the naval establishments, rendered additional buildings nécessary. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the dock-yard, &c.
The charitable fund, denominated The Chest AT CHATHAM, arose in consequence of the humane exertions of Sir John Hawkins, and Sir FRANCIS Drake; and was established about the year 1590, when the masters, mariners, shipwrights, and seafaring men, serving in the ships and sea-affairs of the then queen's majesty, finding, by experience, that, by frequent employment by sea, for the defence of the kingdom, &c.' divers, and sundry of them, by reason of hurts and maims received in that service, were driven into great poverty, extremity, and want, did, by the incitement, persuasion, approbation, and good liking, of the right honourable Charles earl of Nottingham, VOL. V. No. 111.