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Author Topic: Chatham History - 1847  (Read 3436 times)

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Offline busyglen

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Re: Chatham History - 1847
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 14:04:56 »
Thank you Mary E.  :)  There's a lot to it, but I also found some of the earlier history, fascinating. 
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Offline Mary E

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Re: Chatham History - 1847
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 10:48:19 »
Fascinating stuff, busyglen.  Enjoyable reading.

Offline busyglen

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Re: Chatham History - 1847
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 16:05:52 »
All spellings have been copied as per those of the period.  There is also more information regarding the Inns, shops etc. and gentry but too much to enter at this present time.  I'll have a rest and do some more later.  :)
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Offline busyglen

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Re: Chatham History - 1847
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 16:01:37 »
ANTIQUITIES: From the vicinity of Chatham to Rochester, which was undoubtedly a `station’ in the time of the Romans, the summit of the hill to the north of the town must have been necessary to them for the safety of their station.  Indeed, many discoveries have been made, giving sufficient proof that it was not neglected by them.  In throwing up the lines of fortification for the defence of the dock-yard at Brompton, in the year 1756, on the west side, a little below the summit of the hill, near Upbery farm, were found ten or twelve graves, in which were human skeletons, and in some of them different pieces of armour, a part of a helmet, the head of a spear, the umbo of a shield, a large sword, many beads of different colours, etc. and in one of them a bottle made of red earth, resembling in shape, a modern water bottle.  Great numbers of Roman coins have been found in various directions at this place, and probably many tumuli, which the plough has long ago levelled.  On the breaking up the ground for the making of Amhurst’s redoubt, in 1779, about 40 rods W.N.W. from Upbery-farm, in a line with Chatham Church, the workmen met with the strong foundation of a building, in some parts not more than five inches below the surface; its depth was about 6 ½ feet, the width 12 feet, and in length about 18 feet.  This foundation appeared to be the outside of several small cells or rooms lying in a range S.S.E. ; one of which was in size 9 feet by 7 feet, another 10 feet square.  The floors were of sand, about 4 ½ feet below the surface; the inside of the walls were done in the ancient fresco, with red, blue, and green spots; and among the rubbish many pieces were found with broad red and other coloured narrow stripes.  On the adjoining ground, as well as in sinking the ditch to the southward of them, many human bones have been found, pieces of Roman brick and tile, numbers of Roman coins, among which was one of the Empress Faustina, and one of the Emperor Claudius, with a variety of broken urns, lachrymatories, etc.  On the W.S.W. side of these cells the foundations of a larger building was discovered, which was traced within the redoubts as far as the bank of earth thrown out of the ditch would permit.  The sepulchral fragments, belonging to persons of both sexes, shew  that it was a common place of burial, as well for their station at Rochester, as for their summer camp, established here or near thereto.  Mr. Douglas, in his `Nenia Britannica’, has published his observation on the various Roman remains discovered within these lines at various times, with several engravings of the tumili opened, and the contents found in them.  Besides the Roman coins, a great number of Old English, French, and German coins, and many different tradesmen’s tokens, have been found.

Chatham gave the title of Baron to John the Great, Duke of Argyle, who was, in 1705, created Baron of Chatham, and Earl of Greenwich.  In 1719 he was created Duke of Greenwich; and dying in October, 1743, without male issue, the title became extinct.  The lady Hester Pitt, wife of the Right Hon. William Pitt, in consequence of his great and important services to this nation, was in 1761 created Baroness of Chatham, with a continuance of the title to her and her heirs male by her said husband.  On July 30th, 1766, the above mentioned Riight Hon. William Pitt, on a further consideration of his services, was created Viscount Pitt, of Burton Pynsett, in Somersetshire, and Earl of Chatham, with remainder to his heirs’ male.  He died in 1778, leaving by the Lady Hester, his wife, John Earl of Chatham.

BROMPTON, is a considerable hamlet, partly in this parish, and partly in the parish of Gillingham.  It adjoins Chatham on the north east side of the town, and is pleasantly situated on the brow of a hill; the population is chiefly employed in the dock-yard; and the extensive barracks already noticed with Chatham, with the Naval Hospital, are situated in this hamlet, which is included within the fortifications called the Chatham lines.  It contains many genteel houses, chiefly inhabited by military officers, several good inns, and some respectable shops in different branches of trade.  The Roman Catholics have a chapel, with a day-school annexed.  The Wesleyans have a chapel and Sunday-school in Manor street, and also a small chapel at New Brompton.  The Directory will be found to follow that of Chatham.

ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S HOSPITAL: There seems to be no precise evidence in existence of the foundation or endowment of this Hospital; an account is given of it in Hasted’s `History of Kent,’ taken principally from other historical works, the substance of which may be stated shortly as follows :- “That it was founded by Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, in 1078, and was originally instituted as a lazar-house, and consisted of a master, brethren, and sisters, the number, as it is stated, being nowhere specified; that the prior and chapter of St. Andrew, in Rochester, were ordained a corporation, distinct from the priory, and demised their estates under the common seal.”  It is further stated that, in the Reign of James I., a grant of the property of this Hospital being made by the Crown to the Viscount of Doncaster, legal proceedings were had, which were ultimately compromised, and the property restored to the Hospital.  A further account of these proceedings in the Textus Roffense, p.224, from which it appears that the master and brethren of the Hospital were obliged to grant leases of their property on fines for the purpose of paying the expenses they had incurred in defending their rights, and by way of compromise with the parties who had obtained possession under the grantees.  Amongst the papers in the possession of the dean of Rochester, the present master or patron, is a copy of the survey of 37th Henry VIII., in the margin of which the Hospital is entitled “The Hospital of the parish of Chatham, called St. Bartholomew, `pro lazaris hominibus fundat.’”  The annual income of this charity, in 1836, amounted to £2,951.5s. 4d., chiefly arising from rentals of property in Chatham and Rochester.  There is also a sum of £1,200.7s.  Three per Cent. Consols, the produce of purchase money, on a sale many years ago, of part of the estates for some public purpose, the dividends of which £36.0s.2d are received by the dean of Rochester.  Out of the income, the clear yearly sum of £27 is paid to each of the brethren, and the residue of the income, arising from the rents, fines, and dividends, is received by the dean to his own use.  The emoluments derived from the Hospital have been considered as inseparable from the deanery.  Though there is but little evidence as to the object of this foundation, and or any poor persons having ever received the benefit of it, yet it was deemed by the Charity Commissioners a fit subject for the consideration of the Attorney-General.  The institution consists of five persons; the patron, or master, which office is held by the dean of Rochester for the time being, without any specific appointment, and four brethren, two clerical and two laymen.  With regard to the old Hospital now used as a chapel, by indenture bearing date 29th January, 1735, reciting that a lease had been granted by the brethren of the said Hospital, with the consent of the patron, to William Walter, of two messuages and gardens in Chatham, for 40 years, from Michaelmas then last, at the yearly rent of 3s., that the said William Walter had purchased the same, to the intent to lay one of the said messuages into St. Bartholomew’s chapel, and to enlarge and fit up the same for the accommodation of the inhabitants of Chatham, resorting thither to hear divine service, and to settle the residue of the premises for pious uses, subject to the disposition of the said dean and his successors, to let the same and pay the reserved rent, or so much as should be necessary, for repairing the premises, and the surplus to such pious uses, in respect of the enlargement or ornament of the chapel, as the dean and his successors should appoint.

SIR JOHN HAWKIN’S HOSPITAL, situated in High-street, is composed of low brick buildings, forming three sides of a small quadrangle.  It was founded in 1592, for the relief and support of poor mariners and shipwrights who should have served in or for the Royal Navy, and should be wounded, maimed, or reduced to want or poverty, each inmate to have a weekly allowance of 2s.  The founder directed, that if any man eligible according to the charter, should be married, his wife (being at least 50 years of age), should be taken with him into the Hospital, both to be relieved there as one single pensioner, and, if she should outlive her husband, that she should have the whole pension as long as she should remain single; but if any man, after his election should take a wife, that he should lose his place.  The endowment consists of a farm in Essex, producing £150 per annum, two houses in Chatham, £65 per annum, the rectorial tithes of East Wickham, £160, and dividends, amounting to £66 per annum, arising from a sum of £2,200 consols, standing in the names of the Governors, making a gross sum of £441 per annum.

The person acting as the six principal masters of the navy, are the masters of the principal dock-yards in the neighbourhood, and the master shipwrights of Chatham, Sheerness, and Woolwich, as answering to the description of the principal shipwrights of the navy , these are appointed governors, at best answering the description contained in the charter.

There are 12 inmates and 2 out-pensioners, and there is paid to every single man and every married couple 8s. a week, and to every widow 7s. a week, and each tenement is provided with one chaldron and a half of coal; on the death of any one of the inmates, £1.11s.6d is allowed for the funeral expenses.  The only other payments out of the income are a salary of £4 allowed the deputy-governor, and insurance of the hospital, and of the Essex farm, and some incidental expenses of small amount.  The income is much more than sufficient to provide for these payments, but it is not though advisable to increase the stipends of the present inmates, most of whom have pensions for their services, and do not require any additional allowance.

WATTS’ CHARITY, see Rochester.  Under the proceedings which took place in the Court of Chancery, about £1,100 was decreed to the city part of Chatham, and after paying all expenses, the residue was invested in the purchase of £1,286.0s.2d. consols.  Two thirty second parts of the income of the estate, and the dividends of the stock are applied in paying the rates of all persons whose assessments are under £5; and if there is any surplus, to those who are rated above that sum in equal proportions.

SIR EDMUND GREGORY, Knt., in 1710, bequeathed £100, the interest thereof to be distributed among the most necessitous families of the town of Chatham.  The amount was invested in South Sea Stock, which was afterwards sold out for £750; of this sum, £675 was laid out in the purchase of 32 acres of land, in the parish of Burham; at the inclosure 5A. 2R. were allotted to the guardians as the owners of the said farm.  The rent, £30 per annum, is expended in bread, and distributed to the most deserving poor in the town.

RALPH PAINE, by will, 1812, bequeathed £7,000 consols, in trust, thereout to pay for the erecting a monument to his memory in Chatham Church, and for the erecting of certain almshouses.  He also bequeathed £8,000 four per cent.  annuities; and directed the dividends to be applied in aid of poor married householders.  A further sum of £7,000 consols was bequeathed by the same donor, to apply the dividends weekly in the purchase of wheaten bread, to be distributed to the most necessitous in the parish.  Soon after the death of the testator, suits were instituted in the Court of Chancery; in the course of these proceedings, the bequests for the erection of the almshouses, and for the payment of pensions to poor married persons, were declared void.  Of the four per cent stock, £1,300 was transferred into the name of the Accountant General, to an account entitled “The Bread Account for 20 old widows.”  The proceedings in Chancery were concluded, and the cost incurred therein paid in 1828.  The stock now standing on the bread account for 20 old widows is £1,277.  Three and a half per cents, producing £44.13s.8d.,  and on the other account, £9,297.0s.3d. Three per cent consols, producing annually £278. 18s.2d. A distribution of bread is made every Sunday in the Church to 20 poor widows.  In respect of the latter sum, a distribution of bread is made every Tuesday and Saturday to 60 poor persons; clothes and coals are also given in addition to the bread.

ANNE PHILIPPS, in 1799, bequeathed £300 four per cents the dividends to be given to widows and orphan children of deceased shipwrights, who should at the time of their death be serving as such at the dock-yard at Chatham.  The dividends amount to £10.10s., of which two-thirds are given to those whose husbands died at Chatham, and one-third are given to those whose husbands died in Gillingham.  The poor of this parish, also partake of John Hoar’s gift, see Gillingham.
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Offline busyglen

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Re: Chatham History - 1847
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 16:00:13 »
THE CHATHAM AND ROCHESTER PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY INSTITUTION, was established in 1827.  It is situated in a central situation, in High-street.  The long room, set apart for the museum, is 75 feet.  The lecture room, which is on the ground floor, is jointly used by this and the Mechanics’ Institution.  The `Library’ comprises about 2,500 volumes of standard work, and is continually increasing.  The `Museum’ which is tastefully and systematically arranged, consists of specimens of British and Foreign birds. Chalk Fossils’ which are particularly curious and costly, etc.  Much care and expense have been bestowed on this department, and many donations of objects of natural history have been presented.  The property of the institution belongs to about 140 shareholders, who, on payment of £3, with an additional subscription of 20s yearly, are entitled to receive books out, and have the privilege of perusing the quarterly, monthly, and other periodicals, with which the table of the reading room is furnished.  Annual subscribers, not shareholders, pay 26s. and have the same advantages as shareholders, with the exception of voting as to the management of the institution.

CHATHAM, ROCHESTER, STROOD, AND BROMPTON MECHANICS’ INSTITUTION was established in 1839, and is held at convenient premises in High-street, which in 1844, were considerably improved.  The institution is in a very flourishing state, in a great measure owing to the liberality of the committee, who, being governed by a desire to meet the wishes of the majority of the members, have somewhat departed from the original rules of the institution, by the permission of entertainments purely re-creative.  The institution consists of about 500 members, who pay a subscription of 8s. per annum, and have a library of about 1,600 volumes.  Gratuitous lectures are frequently given, and paid lecturers employed.  The institution is open every evening from six till ten o’clock.
Secretary: Mr. G. Moss; Librarian: Mr. G. Davies.

SAVINGS’ BANK. Established in 1816, is held at convenient premises in High-street.  In 1845, the total capital stock of the Bank was £120,000m and the number of depositors, 3,292; of these the balances of 1,600 depositors did not exceed £20; 918 were above £20, but not exceeding £50; 436 were above £50; 155 were above £100, but not exceeding £150; 128 were above £150, but not exceeding £200; with 27 Charitable and 18 Friendly Societies.  The Bank is open on Saturday morning from ten till two o’clock; and on Saturday evening from five till eight o’clock; and on Monday morning from eleven till two o’clock.  Actuary, Mr. George Skinner.

MEDWAY POOR-LAW UNION comprises the parishes of Chatham, Gillingham, St. Margaret’s Rochester, St. Nicholas’s Rochester, Lidsing, Grange, and Precincts Rochester, containing an area of 10,460 acres, and a population of 32,013 souls.  The Union House is situated at the east end of High-street: was erected in 1726 for the poor of Chatham, the expense defrayed by voluntary contributions; several additions were made to the building, and in 1802, the premises were vested in a certain number of the inhabitants as guardians.  Other improvements have been made, and the premises now form the Medway Union House, which will accommodate about 500 paupers.  Henry Appleby is the master, and Mrs. Appleby matron; Rev. J. Grayham, Chaplain.  Mr. Friend Hoar, is clerk to the guardians and superintendent registrar.  Mr. John Thomas Hogg is the registrar of births, deaths and marriages.  Thomas Scott, is relieving officer.  Surgeons: Mr. George Ely and George Ebenezer Ely, M.D.

MANORS: In the time of Edward the Confessor, Chatham was in the possession of Godwin, Earl of Kent, on whose death it descended to Harold, afterwards King of England, who being slain at the battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror seized Harold’s possessions, and gave this estate to his half-brother Odo, Bishop of Baieux; accordingly, this place is thus entered under the general title of the prelates’ possessions, in Domesday.  “In Cateham hundred, Robert Latin holds Cateham to farm of the Bishop of Baieux.  It was taxed at six sulings.  The arable land is sixteen carucates.  In demesne there are three, and 33 villeins, with four borderers, having 10 carucates. There is a church and 15 servants, and one mill of thirty two pence, and twenty acres of meadow, and six fisheries of 12 pence.  Wood for the pannage of one hog.  In the time of Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth 12 pounds, now 15 pounds; and yet it pays 35 pounds.  Earl Godwin held it.”    
     On the disgrace of the Bishop, the King seized of this manor among the rest of his possessions, which became confiscated to the crown.  After which, Chatham appears to have been granted to the eminent family Crevequer, this being their seat or `Caput Baronie’ i.e. the principal manor of their barony for some time – until they removed themselves to Ledes Castle.  Hamo de Crevequer, who had probably the grant of this estate from the Conqueror, appears to have held it of the King, as of his castle of Dover, `in capite’ by barony; their barony, which consisted of five knights, first being styled `Baronie de Crevequer’: his son Hamo left a son Robert, who erected Ledes Castle, and the priory there, in 1119 – to the former of which he afterwards the capital seat of his barony – whose great grandson, Hamo, died in the 47th year of King Henry III., being then possessed of his manor of Chatham, and the manors of Farleigh and Teston, likewise `in capite,’ as members of it.  He left Robert, his grandson, son of Hamo, his heir, who afterwards taking part with the barons against the King, this, among other estates, was seized; and though he was afterwards restored to the King’s favour, yet he never gained possession of the crown till the 19th year of King Edward I., when it was granted to Guido Ferre for the term of his life: he died, possessed of it, in the 4th years of Edward III., the same being then of the inheritance of Giles de Badlesmere.  In the 7th year of King Edward III., Bartholomew de Badlesmere had possession granted of his lands, though he had not then accomplished his full age; after which, having received summons to Parliament, he died in the 12th year of that reign without issue, being then possessed of this manor, and leaving his four sisters co-heirs; on the division of whose inheritance, the manor fell to the share of Margaret, wife of Sir John Tiptoft.  Their son and heir died in the 40th year of that reign, without male issue, so that his three daughters became his co-heirs, when this manor was carried in marriage by Elizabeth to Sir Philip le Despencer , whose daughter Margery inherited this manor, being then wife of Roger Wentworth, Esq., : their descendant, Sir Thomas Wentworth, was summoned to Parliament in the 20th of Henry VIII. among the peers of his realm, and died in the 5th year of King Edward VI. Being then lord chamberlain of the King’s household, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Thomas Lord Wentworth, his son and heir, succeeded to this manor and was made deputy of Calais.  On King Edwards’s death he was the first who appeared for Queen Mary, who in the first year of her reign made him a Privy Councillor, and he was deputy of Calais till the fatal loss of that place.  In the 8th year of Queen Elisabeth, he alienated the manor of Chatham to Francis Barneham and Stephen Slanie, who quickly after passed away their interest in it to John Hart and Michael Barker, and the in like manner to Reginald Barker, Esq., who died in 1600 and was buried in Chatham Church, where an altar tomb was erected to his memory, with the effigies of him and his wife on it.  Anne, his widow, sold it to Robert Jackson, who, in the reign of Charles I. conveyed it by sale to Sir Oliver Boteler, whos grandson, Sir Oliver Boteler, Bart., gave it in marriage with this daughter Joan, to Christopher Rodes, Esq., whose son of the same name afterwards possessed it.  His sister, marrying Charles Birkhead, Esq., entitled her husband to it; and it is now the property of Colonel James Best, who, with Jacob George Bryant, Esq., and Francis Bradley Dyne, Esq., are the largest landowners; there are also many small proprietors.

WADESLADE, now called `Waslett’. Is a manor here, which was formerly accounted to a manor of Chatham, of which it is now held.

SHARSTED, is a manor lying among the woods in the southern part of this parish, which had anciently owners who took their surname from it.  Fulco de Sharsted held it as half a knight’s fee, in the beginning of the reign of Edward I.  Sir Henry de Leybourne was possessed of it in the 4th year of Edward II., of whom he obtained a charter of free warren for his lands in Sharsted, Lydesinge, and elsewhere in this parish, soon after which it came into the family of Say, one of whom alienated it to Robert Belknapp, who, in the 50th year of King Edward III., granted the manor of Sharsted and moiety of the manor Lydesynge to the prior and convent of Rochester, at the yearly rent of twenty mares for ever.  This manor, with that of Lydsing, continued part of the possessions of the priors till the dissolution of it in the 32nd year of King Henry VIII., when it was, together with all its revenues, surrendered into the King’s hands, who, by his dotation charter in his 33rd year, settled them on his new founded dean and chapter of Rochester, where the inheritance of them remains at present.

HORSTED, is a manor in this parish, part of the lands of which are in Rochester, the boundary of the liberty of that city extending towards the south-east as far as his house.  This place is supposed to take its name from Horsa, the Saxon general, and brother of Hengist, the first King of Kent, who engaged the Britons under the command of Catigeru, brother of King Vortimer, the chiefs encountering each other hand to hand, were both killed on the spot: Caigeru is supposed to have been buried near the field of battle, at the place now called Kits Coty house; and Horsa at this place, from that circumstance, assumed the name of Horsted, or the place of Horsa.  In the field near it are a number of large stones dispersed over the lands, some standing upright, and others thrown down by time, which it is probable were placed as memorials of those who were slain on the side of the Saxons in this memorable reencounter, and were buried here.

SNODHURST, seems to have been accounted an appendage tot eh manor of Great Delce, and was formerly part of the possessions of the family of Crevequer, lords of Chatham.  It is said in the records of King Edward III. To have consisted of sixty acres of land, which are likewise called a carucate, and in others the fourt part of a knight’s fee, and are said to be in Parva, or Little Chatham.

LUTON, is a pleasant village and chapelry, 1 mile S.E. from Chatham.  A small neat district church was erected here in 1842, dedicated to Christ by the Parliamentary Commissioners; it is a brick structure, in the Gothic style, with a tower and short spire.  The perpetual curate of Chatham, the patron; Rev. Wm. Twiss Turner, curate.  A neat school has just been completed adjoining the church.  The Bryanites have also a small chapel and Sunday School.

HALE COTTAGE, is a neat house, half a mile S.E. from Luton, the seat of William Ackworth, Esq.

SHARSTEAD a farm and manor 2 ¾ miles S.by E. from Chatham. 
This estate was granted by Robert Belknapp, in the 50th year of Edward III. To the prior and convent of Rochester, and now belongs to the dean and chapter.

SNODHURST, is a small hamlet 1 ½ miles S. from Chatham.

Cont…


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Offline busyglen

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Re: Chatham History - 1847
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 15:49:55 »
In 1758, an act was passed for purchasing ground and constructing works, to place it in perfect security; under the Act the CHATHAM LINES, were formed.  These works commence on the banks of the Medway, near the Ordnance Wharf, and are continued round an area of one mile in extent, from south to north, and half a mile from east to west.  A little beyond the north extremity of the dock yard they again meet the river.  In 1782, another Act was passed for their further improvement, and considerable additions were made, FORTS PITT and CLARENCE, two strong redoubts, flanking the southern extremity of the lines, and commanding the upper part of the river.  Within this area, besides the naval establishment, are included the barracks, the church of Chatham, and the village of Brompton, pleasantly situated on the high ground. These lines are strengthened by ramparts, palisades, and a broad and deep ditch, and, except for Portsmouth, is considered the most complete fortress in the British islands, BARRACKS, etc.  The Marine or Lower Barracks, are spacious and uniform buildings, of brick, enclosing a large quadrangular area, with accommodation for 1,200 men.  The UPPER or BROMPTON BARRACKS, are situated on a bold acclivity, neatly built of brick and commodious.  The ARTILLERY BARRACKS, built in 1804, form three sides of a quadrangle, and will hold 1,200 men.  St. Mary Barracks are situated at the north extremity of the lines, and will accommodate 1,000.  the garrison consists of five companies of soldiers and a battalion of artillery.  A school for engineers was established here in 1812, in which young recruits are trained to a practical knowledge of their duties.  The Artillery Hospital, erected in 1809, contains wards for 100 patients.  Melville Hospital, intended for the whole naval department, has been recently erected, at an expense of £70,000. It forms a handsome range of buildings, and will accommodate 340 patients; at the back are neat detached houses for the officers and attendants.

THE CHURCH, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a perpetual curacy, with that of St. John’s annexed, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Rochester, of which the Dan and Chapter of Rochester are patrons, and Rev. Matthew Irving, incumbent; the net income is returned at £961.  This church, being esteemed as a curacy, is not valued in the King’s books.  The parsonage, or great tithes, are held under lease from the patrons.  The cure is supplied by a curate, nominated by them, and licensed by the Bishop, who enjoys by lease from that body, at the rent of one penny per annum, all the small tithes and vicarial dues of this parish.  In 1788, the ancient church with the exception of the tower, was taken down, and re-built with brick on a much larger scale, having spacious galleries.  The first church that was probably erected, was destroyed by fire in the beginning of the fourteenth century, though by what means this calamity happened is not known.  This church was re-building in the year, 1316; for Bishop Thomas de Woldham, by his will dated that year, bequeathed ten shillings towards this work; but it seems the inhabitants were now able to finish it, for the Pope’s letter of indulgence was published in 1352, for the remission of a year and forty days’ penance to all such as should contribute to so pious a work.  The east end was all that remained of the above church, the north and south aisles being of a more modern date; for in 1635 the Commissioners of the navy, to make room for the dock and navy establishment, re-built and enlarged the west end of it, and erected the steeple; and in 1707, Commissioner St. Loe built a gallery over the south aisle.  There are some ancient monuments, which were, at the re-building in 1788, refixed in the different parts of it; and the churchyard being too small for the increased population, the Office of Ordnance granted three acres of ground at a short distance from the church for an additional burial ground, which was consecrated in 1828.  Mr. John Pyham, minister of this parish, in 1636, gave to the church a silver flagon and two silver plates.  Mr. Benjamin Ruffhead, anchorsmith of the dock, gave the branch and iron work; he also gave a silver bason, in 1694.  John, Bishop of Rochester, with the consent of the Archbishop, granted the appropriation of it to the canons there for ever.  At the dissolution in the reign of Henry VIII, it was, with all its revenues, surrendered into the King’s hands; who by his dotation charter settled it on his new erected dean and chapter of Rochester, with whom it remains.  In 1772, in digging a grave in the churchyard a petrified human hand was found, grasping the brass hilt of a sword, the blade had perished.  To accommodate the increasing population, a district church, dedicated to St. John, has been erected by the Parliamentary Commissioners.  It is a handsome structure, in the Doric order, situated in rome-land; it was completed in 1821, at a cost of nearly £15,000 and contains 16,24 sittings, of which 1090 are free.  It is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the perpetual curate of Chatham – Rev. George Harker, incumbent.  There is also an elegant chapel in the dockyard, of which the Lords of the Admiralty are patrons – now enjoyed by the Rev. Edward Pettman.  Divine service is regularly performed in the ancient chapel of the Hospital, which is situated near the west end of High street.  It has been erected at different periods; and in the time of King Edward III., appears to have had a cemetery belonging to it.  The most ancient part is the east end, which is probably the remains of the original structure, which was erected by Hugh de Trottesclyve, a monk of Rochester, in the time of Henry I., for the use of lepers, and dedicated by him to St. Bartholomew.  It is a small circus, having narrow Gothic windows, with a chancel extending to the west, which, though ancient, does not appear of equal antiquity with the other portion of the building.  From this chancel an additional building is continued further westward, newly built in 1743, at the expense of William Walter, Esq., of Chatham, who new pewed it, and was otherwise a considerable benefactor to the chapel.
DISSENTING CHAPELS: The Wesleyan Methodists have a small chapel in Ordnance place, and one in Best street.
INDEPENDENT: Ebenezer Chapel is a commodious building in Meeting House lane, erected 1810.
BAPTIST: Providence Chapel, at the Brook, erected 1795, a small brick building to accommodate 500 persons.  Rev. Thomas Jones, Pastor.
BAPTIST: Zion Chapel, Clover street, erected 1821, a brick building to accommodate 800 persons.  Rev. John Stock, pastor.
IRVINGITE: or the Unknown Tongue. A small brick Chapel, erected in 1834, at the Brook.  Rev. Ebenezer Hollick is pastor.
BRYANITE: or Bible Christians. A neat brick building in Union Street, will accommodate 500 persons.  Rev. Richard Kinsman the pastor.
UNITARIAN:  A plain brick building on Hammond-hill, was built in 1802, and has a small organ.  Rev. Joseph C. Means is the pastor.
SCHOOLS:  The Mathematical, Commercial, and Classical School, in Ordnance place, is a handsome building, erected by a Proprietory, at a cost of £1600, in shares of £15, each of whom are entitled to send one pupil.  The charge for education being, £7 per annum.
NATIONAL SCHOOL: New Road, was erected in 1808, and is supported by voluntary contributions; it was enlarged by a new story being added in 1817 by subscription, and in token of respect of the Very Rec. John Law, D.D., who had complete the period of half a century as minister of this parish, and was Archdeacon of Rochester.  He was an example of Christian life and duty, the friend of the poor, and patron of religious education. 
ST. JOHN’S NATIONAL SCHOOL, James-street, established in 1844 as a Sunday School.  About 100 boys and 70 girls attend the day school; each scholar pays 4d. per week.
BRITISH SCHOOL, Duncan-place, is a neat brick building, erected in 1846, by subscription, at a cost of £750.  About 200 boys and 100 girls attend; each pay 3d. per week.
INFANT SCHOOL, Brook-street, is a wood building.  About 60 children attend; supported by voluntary contributions. 
By the Reform Act, Chatham was united with Rochester in returning members to Parliament; but it was afterwards separated, and now returns one member for itself, being included in schedule D.  The Hon. G.S. Byng is the present member.

THE CHEST AT CHATHAM: A fund, the produce of which is regularly appropriated to the relief of sailors who have been wounded in the service of the Crown, was first planned by Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, in the year 1588, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, when the seamen of the royal navy voluntarily agreed to advance a certain portion of their pay towards the support of their distressed brethren.  This was found to answer so well the benevolent purposes for which it was designed, that it has continued to the present time, and has at various times been countenanced and encouraged by the crown and legislative authority.  In the 1st year of James II., when a further duty of 5s. per ton was laid on all foreign-built ships, one moiety of it was given by Parliament to the use of this charity.  It is possessed of several estates of land in this county.  This Chest was removed to the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, in 1802, and the management of the funds, which was vested in the principal naval officers, has been transferred to the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Comptroller of the Navy, and the Governor of Greenwich Hospital.

THE HOSPITALS are noticed with the charities of the parish.

THE MARKET: is held on Saturday, in a covered space near the centre of High-street.  It is well supplied with butter, poultry, vegetables, and fruit, and has a good butchery, well supplied with meat, which has superseded the shambles of Rochester.  FAIRS for horses and cattle, and all sorts of commodities, are held on May15th and October 20th, each of which continues three days.

HORSE RACES, are held annually, about the second week in September, on the summit of the Chatham lines, under the auspices of the county and borough members of Chatham and Rochester; as also the Court of Requests.

Cont….

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Offline busyglen

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Chatham History - 1847
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 15:48:03 »
CHATHAM, a borough, parish and market-town, within the Hundred of Chatham and Gillingham, Lathe of Aylesford, 8 miles N. by E. from Maidstone, 30 miles E. by S. from London.

The parish contains 4,510 acres, extending from the river Medway on its north side, nearly 4 miles south, and from east to west upwards of 2 miles.  The soil, excepting in the vale of the Medway, where it is a fertile loam, is in general chalk; on the southern side it is mostly a red soil mixed with flints, extending over a hilly district, interspersed with frequent coppice woods.  Rateable value: £33,200.16s.  The principal owners are James Best, Esq., Jacob George Bryant, Esq., and F.B. Dyne, Esq.  There are, also many small proprietors.  James Best, Esq., is Lord of the Manor.  The small tithes are commuted for £500.  Great tithes, £700.  Jacob George Bryant, Esq., lessee.

CHATHAM, ROCHESTER and STROOD, form one continuous street, about 2 miles in length, being on the high road from London to Dover.  Chatham is the east extremity, and situated close on the bank of the Medway for about half a mile, after which the river flows N.N.E.  In the Domesday it is called CETEHAM, and in the Textus Roffensis, CAETTHAM.  The namd seems to be derived from the Saxon word ‘cyte’, a cottage, and ‘ham’, a village, that is the village of cottages, of which it principally consisted previous to the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The town of borough of Chatham, in 1841, is returned as containing 2,911 inhabited houses, 201 uninhabited, 11 houses building, and a population of 21,431 souls.  Chatham parish extends, and is partly included in the borough of Rochester, the entire parish containing 15,411 inhabitants.  The part returned in the borough of Chatham contained 2,672 inhabited houses, and 13,468 inhabitants. Brompton (a part of) 228 inhabited houses, and 1,435 inhabitants.
In Barracks and Hospitals, 6528 persons.  Chatham Barracks, 703: Spur Battery, 92: Mellville Hospital, 134: Sir J. Hawkins’ Hospital, 23: North Hospital, 36, all in the parish of Chatham.  Fort Pitt Hospital Barracks and Towers, 788:   Fort Clarence, 100: both of which are in St. Margaret’s parish, Rochester.  Brompton Barracks, 138: Gunners’ Barracks, 38: and in the Ordnance Hospital, 158: these last three are in the parish of Gillingham.

Chatham communicates with London by the Dover and Canterbury road; but the most important channel of communication is the Medway, which falls into the estuary of the Thames at Sheerness, and floats the largest ships to Chatham.  Indeed, in consequence of works begun in the reign of Charles II, and at various subsequent periods resumed, the Medway has been rendered navigable to Tunbridge, affording a channel of communication of great utility to Chatham, and all the surrounding country.

The high road from London to Dover formerly run through Chatham, but in 1769, an Act passed for making a new road, to avoid the inconvenience of passing through this town, of which the street was narrow and incommodious.  This Act was in conjunction with lighting, paving, and improving the towns of Rochester and Strood, but with which Chatham refused to be included, supposing the new road would injure their traffic.   However, on the other hand, they found that if the towns of Chatham was not made more safe and commodious for travellers, many of them would probably avoid so unsafe and disagreeable a thoroughfare, so that, in 1772, they procured an Act for themselves for the like purposes, which was followed by another more extensive in 1776;  in consequence of which, the high street was new paved and lighted, and several of the annoyances removed, the expenses raised by a rate not exceeding 9d. in the pound.  This new road, diverging from the east extremity of Rochester by the south, joins the old road again at the east extremity of Chatham, from which, at its greatest distance, it is nearly half a mile;  a lofty chalk hill separating them.

NAVAL ARSENAL.  This establishment, which is the most complete in the world, is conveniently situated on the banks of the Medway, a short, but very deep river.  These important works occupy an extensive area on the north side of the town, nearly a mile in length, inclosed by a high wall on the land side, and defended by strong fortifications, principally of modern erection; the entrance is through a spacious gateway, flanked by two embattled towers.  The houses of the commissioners and of the principal officers, are spacious and handsome buildings, and the various offices in the several departments of the yard are neat and commodiously arranged.  THE DOCKYARD, extending over 90 acres, was commenced in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; the original part being now the ORDNANCE WHARF, to which purpose it was appropriated by James I, who had the present dock made, which was considerably enlarged by Charles I, who also erected spacious storehouses.  Charles II, on his restoration, visited this dock in 1660, and reviewed the Royal Sovereign, a first-rate man of war, of 100 guns; about seven years afterwards, this dock, with everything contained in it, was in great danger of being destroyed.  Being at war with Holland,  Admiral de Ruyter, the Dutch admiral, with 50 sail of ships, anchored at the Nore, whence he dispatched his Vice-Admiral, Van Ghent, with 17 sail of his lightest ships, and eight fire ships, to destroy this dock, and the navy riding in this river.  Van Ghent having taken Sheerness, though it was gallantly defended by Sir Edward Spragge, blew up the fortifications and burnt the storehouses, and on the 10th of June sailed up the Medway.  The famous General Monk, Duke of Albermarle, in the meantime having hastened to Chatham, had done every thing for the security of the river that the short space of time would admit of; but a strong easterly wind and spring tide brought the enemy on with such resistless force, that the chain laid across the river to prevent their approach, was soon broken, and the Mathias, Unity, and Charles the Fifth, three large Dutch prizes taken in that war and placed there to guard the chain, were quickly burnt by them, and many other vessels damaged; after which, Van Ghent pressing forward between the sunken ships, brought six of his men-of-war before Upnor Castle, and notwithstanding they met with a warm reception, considering the indifferent state of the fortress, they found means to seize the hull of the Royal Charles, when finding the country alarmed and prepared to oppose them, they ventured no farther up the river, but immediately retreating; on their return, they burnt the Royal Oak, and destroyed the Loyal London and the Great James, which they left a grea part under water; after which Van Ghent joined Admiral de Ruyter, having lost in this expedition only two ships, which ran on shore and were burnt by his own people.  This attempt so surprised the English nation for the safety of the Royal Navy and yards on the Medway, that the several forts along the banks of it were immediately put in a proper state of defence, especially the fort of Sheerness, where the fortifications were greatly increased, and a line of such heavy cannon mounted on them, commanding the entrance of the river, that it is hardly possible for the fleet of any power to attempt to pass them for the future.  This dockyard has from time to time been so greatly improved and enlarged, and the extensive storehouses contain such immense quantities of every essential for naval equipment, so arranged that even a first-rate man-of-war can be equipped, in an incredible short space of time.

The ROPE HOUSE, is upwards of 1,100 feet long, in which immense cables are twisted by powerful machinery.  The SMITH’S SHOP contains 44 forges, where every article necessary for ship building is made.  A newly-invented BLAST ENGINE, consisting of fanners worked by steam power, and so disposed as to send the air with great force through pipes from a distance to the smithery fires, was first tried here in June, 1840, and was found to be so effective that one-half of the blast produces welding heat.  Two of Nasmyth’s powerful steam hammers stand in the centre of the smithery; these are chiefly used in forging anchors.  The larges weighs 50 cwt., and falls in a vertical form, with a force equal to 40 tons.  A duplicate set of Mr. Brunel’s block-making machines is kept here ready for use.  Near to the smithery, commodious ROLLING MILLS have just been completed, these are intended for rolling iron and copper, the machinery will be set in motion by two very powerful steam-engines.  The SAW MILLS are most extensive and complete; the sawing room is 90 feet square, with eight saw frames, each capable of carrying from one to thirty saws.  There are also three circular saw-benches, and the whole is moved by a steam-engine, which produces eighty strokes of the saws per minute.

WATER WORKS have been completed for the supply and safety of the yard, and from the pipes laid down in various parts, the water may be thrown far above the highest building.  The wet docks are sufficiently capacious for the first-rate men of war; a new stone dock was erected a few years ago upon a very large scale.  In the docks are four slips or launches, and several more are forming with iron roofs, on the fire proof principle, for building or repairing ships.  Three men-of-war are now in course of erection, to be called the Mars, Majestic, and Cressy, all 80 gun ships; there is also a small steam vessel building.  The wood is floated into the yard by a canal, which passes under a tunnel 300 feet long, into a bason of great depth.  The ORDNANCE WHARF, is situated on a narrow slip of land between the Chapel and the river, to the west of the dock yard; the guns belonging to the ships in the river are here deposited in regular tiers, with the weight of metal and name of the ship to which they belong; the gun carriages are arranged under sheds, whilst pyramids of ball and bomb-shells are seen in various parts of the wharf.  The ARMOURY contains an assemblage of hostile weapons of almost every description, ranged in the most admirable order.  The number of artificers usually employed in the dock yard is about 2,000, and in times of war exceed 3,000.

Cont…..
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

 

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