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If the computation already given, is accurate, there are not more than five * counties superior to Kent in size: but, extensive as it is at present, it is supposed to have been of larger extent. The western quarter particularly, is thought to have included all the land lying on the north side the road from New Cross, through Peckham, and from thence to Lambeth Ferry. Subsequent even to the Norman Conquest, the inhabitants of Surrey seem to have encroached on the boundaries of Kent; the parish of Deptford having been wholly within the latter, though Surrey now claims that part in which are the manor of Bredinghurst, and the manor and seat of Hatcham. Bredingburst, at Peckham Rye, is particularly recorded as being one of the knights fees in Kent; divers inquisitions also taken since the time of Henry II. have found Hatcham to be within the same county. Hatcham lies at a little distance on the north side of the road, The old manor house was taken down but a few years since, and nearly on the same site is erected that large building, which can hardly fail of drawing the tra, veller's attention. Mr. Hasted, in his valuable History of this county, observes that the name Hatcham denotes its situation close to the confines of both counties; as KentHatch in Westerham points out its situation at the very outside of Kent, and as a messuage, called Kent House, does its near neighbourhood to the boundaries of it between Beckenham and Croydon, in Surrey. At present, and certainly for several centuries, the entrance this way into the county is not far from New Cross. The reception of prisoners from the county of Surrey having been for a long space of time at New Cross, inclined several to be of opinion, that the limits of the county are upon that spot; but in this they are mistaken, for they extend to a small bridge, now concealed by the raising of the road beyond Hatchain, near the way to Bredinghurst +.
After passing through the gate at New Cross, the road on the right hand leads to Lewisham, Bromley, Sevenoaks, and
* Yorkshire, Devonshire, Lincolnshire, Hampshire, and Northumberland.
+ Hasted's Kent. VOL. V. No. 104.
Tunbridge, in Kent; and to Rye and Hastings, two of the cinque ports on the coast of Sussex.
Lewisham is situated in the lath of Sutton, and on the river Ravensbourn. It is a pleasant village on the borders of Surrey. The manor, according to Dugdale's Monasticon, is said to have been given, with its appendages Greenwich and Comb, by Elthreda, niece to Alfred the Great, to the abbey of St. Peter, at Ghent, to which this place became a cell. The grant was confirmed by king Edgar in 964, and in 1044 by Edward the Confessor, with many additional privileges.
The manor, &c. are thus described in Domesday Book: " In Grenviz hundred the abbot of Ghent holds Levesham of the king, and he held it of king Edward the Confessor; and it then was, and now is taxed at 2 sulings. The arable land is 14 carucates. In demesne there are 2 carucates, and 50 villeins, with 9 bordars, who have between them 17 ploughs. There are 8 slaves and 11 mills, with the rent of the socmen, amounting to 81. 12s. Of the profit of the haven (of Greenwich) 40s. There are 30 acres of meadow, and of wood. Pannage for 50 hogs. The whole manor in. the time of king Edward was worth 16 pounds, and afterwards 12 pounds, and now 30 pounds.”
The manor continued in the possession of tbe abbot and convent, till the dissolution of alien priories by Henry V. when it was granted by that monarch to his new founded priory of Shene. Upon the general dissolution of monasteries, this manor became the property of the crown, and was bestowed on John earl of Warwick, eldest son of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland; on his attainder it reverted to the crown, and was bestowed by queen Elizabeth on his brother Sir Ambrose Dudley, who had been restored in blood by queen Mary, and, by Elizabeth, created lord L'Isle, and earl of Warwick. From this nobleman, after various changes, it came by purchase, with the rectory, &c. to George Legge, Esq. admiral of the royal navy, and afterwards earl of Dartmouth, in whose family it still continues, and constitutes the second title of the earldom, the 2
eldest son being always denominated, by courtesy, lord Lewisham. An ancestor of the earls of Dartmouth was Thomas Legge, or as pronounced, Leggy, citizen and skinner, sheriff, and twice lord mayor of London, in the reign of Edward III.
Lewisham, on account of its length, has been subjected to the vulgar distinction of " long, lazy, lousy Lewisham,” very undeservedly; its length is about a mile, interspersed with good houses, and gardens, the river forming a pleasant canal along the whole. The parish is of large extent, and the common between Blackheath and Sydenham, comprises nearly one thousand acres.
The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a new and hand. some structure, erected in 1774, and adorned with monuments to the memory of some of the family of Petrie; one of which, for Mrs. Anne Petrie, and her son, consisting of a bas-relief of white statuary marble, enclosed within a border of dove marble, representing, in figures of the natural size, the deceased lying on her death-bed, her rela. tions lamenting, was executed in Italy. The other, to the memory of Mrs. Margaret Petrie, who died in 1791, was executed by Banks, and represents her expiring in the arms of Religion, supported by Faith and Hope. In the vault, among others, is a memorial for Dr. George Stanhope, dean of Canterbury, and vicar of this church; and against the south wall, on the outside of the building, is a tablet in memory of the beneficent Abraham Colfe, minister, who died in 1657. Among the monuments in the church-yard is one to Benjamin Martyn, Esq. who died October 25, 1763, aged sixty-four. “ He was the first promoter of the design of erecting a monument to the memory of Shakespeare, in Westminster Abbey, which was carried into execution by him, with the assistance of Dr. Mead and Mr. Pope, by the profits of a play; the prologue spoken on that occasion was wrote by him.” There is also a monument to the rev. William Louth, M. A. brother to the learned bishop of Louth, vicar fifty-five years.
There are several chapels of ease to this parish. Lewisham gave birth and sepulture to the excellent Dr. BRIAN DUPPA, bishop of Winchester, 1660. He is said to have received 50,000l. for fives soon after his translation from Salisbury to Winton. It is certain that he remitted no less than 30,000l. to his tenants, and left 16,000l. to be expended in acts of charity and munificence. He left legacies to Christchurch, Oxford, of which he had been dean; and to All Souls, in that university, of which he had been fellow; as well as to the cathedrals of Chichester, Salisbury, and Winchester, of which he had been bishop; besides 300l. towards rebuilding St. Paul's cathedral. He also founded an almshouse at Richmond. He was such a pious prelate that the profligate Charles II. craved his blessing on his knees, as the bishop lay on bis death-bed, in 1662. Bishop Duppa was author of several books of devotion and sermons.
There is a head of him before his “ Holy Rules and Helps of Devotion.”*
A considerable portion of Blackheath is in this parish, including Dartmouth Row, and Lewisham Hill. The earl of Dartmouth, in 1682, obtained the grant of a market to be held twice a week upon Blackheath, and two annual fairs. The market bas been discontinued for many years; but the fairs, for cattle only, is held annually on the 12th of May, and the 11th of October.
SYDENHAM, a hamlet of Lewisham, is noted for its pleasant situation, and for the extensive views from its hill, which form the most beautiful, the most interesting, and enchanting scenes.
The chapel here was formerly a dissenting meeting house, rendered famous by the ministry of Dr. John Williams, author of the Greek Concordance, and other learned works, who was pastor here many years.
We quit this article by noticing the excellent Grammar School and Almshouses, founded by the reverend Mr. Abraham Colfe. The former for the education of thirty-one boys, five of whom were to be from Lewisham, ten from