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Author Topic: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847  (Read 18272 times)

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  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2010, 19:36:25 »
There was formerly a CASTLE here called the castle of Sheppy, situated at the western mouth of the Swale, built for the defence of the island.  The castle was erected by King Edward III, about the year 1361, and was finished about six years afterwards.  It was a noble building of considerable strength, fit equally for the defence of the island, and the reception of royalty.  When it was finished the King paid a visit to it and remained here for some days, during which time he made this a `free borough' in honour of Phillippa, his Queen; and by charter, 1366, he created it a corporation, with the liberty of two markets weekly and two fairs yearly, one on the eve of our Lady, and the other on the feast of St. James, and benefitted them with the freedom of `tholle? appointed a staple for wool at it, and granted the inhabitants several other privileges.

The moat and the ancient wall are the only vestiges remaining,  that point out the site of the Castle.  Though the waters throughout the whole island are unwholesome and brackish, yet the Castle well is an exception to it.  For some years previous to 1723, it had little or no water in it, although two hundred feet deep; but after boring upwards of eighty feet, an abundance of excellent water was found, which, by comparison, is found to be one hundred and sixty-six feet below the deepest place in the adjacent seas.

THE CHURCH, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a handsome structure, with nave and chancel, having a square tower at the west end.  The whole of it was raised, paved, and ceiled, and the gallery at the west end was erected by Thomas King, Esq. the first time he was elected member of Parliament in 1695.  The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Mayor and Corporation, and enjoyed by the Rev. O.D. Toosey.

The INDEPENDENTS have a chapel and there is a NATIONAL SCHOOL supported by voluntary subscriptions.



  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2010, 19:19:30 »
QUEENBOROUGH,  is a small parish borough, and formerly a market town, 16 miles N.E. from Maidstone, on the western shore of the Island, and was so called by Edward III in honour of Queen Phillippa.  The parish contains 250 acres of land; and in 1821, had 112 inhabited houses, 60 uninhabited and 634 inhabitants: population in 1801, 405; in 1831, 786.  A fair is held August 5th but the markets have long been obsolete.

The Corporation of QUINBORWE was appointed by charter of King Edward III, to consist of a mayor, recorder, four jurats, two bailiffs, chamberlain etc.  The mayor and senior jurats to act as justices, and the recorder and magistrates to hold Sessions half yearly.  The borough is not included in the Municipal Act.  It formerly sent two members to parliament, but was disfranchised by the Reform Act.
Mayor: John Knewstub
Jurats: James Batcheldor, Scott James Breeze, James Tilley.
Recorder: John Deedes
Town Clerk: John Hinde
Bailiffs: William Bills Snr, & Wm Gooding.

Sessions are held in the Courthouse within 21 days of the feast of St. Michael, and on Lady Day; and Petty Sessions are held every fortnight.

Queenborough is now but a poor fishing village, and numbers who formerly lived in affluence, now barely exist in misfortune.  One great source of wealth was the immense oyster beds, under the management of the corporation, which, by some mismanagement have become deeply involved in debt, and are now leased for a period of 21 years for £500 per annum.



  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 14:39:57 »
Capt. Superintendent, David Price
Master Attendent, Richmond Easto
Master Shipwright, Isaac Watts
Asst. Master Attendent, Jas. Underwood (Naval Terrace)
Storekeeper, W Corbet Edwards
Store Receiver, WL Freeman
Director of the Police, Lieut. Edw. Ramsey
Chaplain, Rev. J. Kirkby, MA (Naval Terrace)
Surgeon, John Anderson, MD
Asst. Surgeon, Douglas N. Tucker (High St.)

Jas. Mitchell Esq.

Capt. Geo S. Vincent Whitmore
Lieut. Albert O'Donnel

VAN TO SITTINGBOURNE: From Frs. Pratton's, jun, High St. Blue Town at 9.0m daily except Sunday.

STEAM PACKETS TO LONDON: From the pier - Summer at 9.0am and 3.0pm; Winter 8.30am daily.

PACKETS TO CHATHAM: Summer, 4 times a day; Winter 8.30am & 4pm daily.

AN OMNIBUS from the Royal Hotel, meets every packet.

TRADING VESSELS TO LONDON; The Factor, David Tritton, Sat; Red Rover, Jas Page, Sat; Elizabeth,
HJ Barren, Wed.
Wm. Edgecombe: Agent


  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2010, 14:06:45 »
At MILETOWN, 1 mile E. from Sheerness Point, a Church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected in 1836.  It is a handsome structure, in the early English Style, with nave, chancel, side aisles, and tower at the west end, and will seat 1,100 persons, having 600 free seats.
The Rev. Dr. Willis is patron, and the Rev. George Bryant incumbent.  The living is returned at £200.

The Baptists, Bible Christians, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodist, and the Roman Catholics have each a chapel here.

The British School was built in 1936, at a cost of £750, raised by subscriptions and a Treasury grant of
£275; it will accommodate 140 children.  NATIONAL SCHOOLS were erected in 1837, in Edward Street, Banks town.

The SAVINGS’ BANK was established in 1818; amount of deposits in the bank on the 20th November, 1847, £14,052. 17s. 6d.  Total amount of deposits since the commencement of the Institution, £69,977.17s.3 1/2d; number of depositors, 2,067; Mr Felkin, actuary.

GAS WORKS  were erected in 1834, near the foot of High-Street, Richard Brightman, Superintendent.

BATHS, warm, cold and shower baths, were erected in 1833 in Bankstown, by John Court, who has also provided bathing machines.

THE ROYAL HOTEL, is an elegant and commodious building, in Banks town, near the beach.

A MECHANICS’ INSTITUTION, has been established some years which is well supported.

POST OFFICE, at Mr Wm. Knewstubb’s, High St. Bluetown; and at Mr. Edward Felkin’s, High St. Miletown.
Letters arrive at 5.45am and 5.30pm, and are despatched at 9.0am and 8pm.


  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2010, 13:37:36 »
The PIER, is built of wood, and extends 3,012 feet into the river.  It was opened in 1835, and the total cost was £4,500.
Robert Edmeades Esq. clerk.

The New County Court House is a neat building, in the High Street.

The Independents and Wesleyans each have a chapel here.

Waterworks were established in 1800, and are held in lease by
Mr. South.


  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2010, 12:18:48 »
The DOCKYARD, one of the finest in Europe, is the chief point of attraction at Sheerness, and has of late years been extended and improved at the expense of near three millions sterling.  It is built upon land reclaimed from the sea, with great labour and ingenuity, and is situated at the north-west point of the Isle, at the confluence of the Medway, and the West Swale with the Thames.  The form of the dockyard resembles a triangle, and has an area of 59 acres 1 rood and 26 perches, surrounded with a brick wall, crowned with stone, about twenty-four feet high, except at the side which abuts into the water.  This dockyard was originally intended for the reception and repairing of ships partially damaged, and for building frigates.  It has been much improved since 1815, and contains three basins, one of which, the largest, is on a scale of magnitude to admit men-of-war, and measures 520 feet long, and 300 feet broad, with an entrance of 60 feet, and a sufficient depth to prevent the ships grounding.  The middle basin is 250 feet by 200, and the northern basin 282 feet 6 inches, by 200 feet 6 inches.  There are three dry docks, 248 feet long, 88 feet wide, and 30 feet deep, having entrances 88 feet wide.  There is also a frigate dock, 207 feet in length, and 75 feet in breadth.  The foundations for the several buildings in the dockyard was formed by driving upwards of 99,000 piles.  Its storehouse is six stories high, and capable of holding 30,000 tons of naval stores.  There are numerous sheds and workshops, as well as offices, and handsome residences for the chiefs of the various departments, a police station, and a military guard-house; from 800 to 1,000 men are frequently employed in this dockyard.  It is in the Grecian style, and was erected by the Board of Admiralty, who are also the patrons.  The Rev. John Kirby M.A. incumbent.


  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2010, 11:59:17 »
Great improvements have been made from time to time to the fort of Sheerness, and it has been greatly augmented and strengthened, insomuch that no fleet, however formidable, can in future attempt to pass it without the hazard of being torn to pieces by the formidable batteries.  The following statement of the ordnance mounted on the banks of the rivers Thames and Medway, will afford some idea of the efforts made within the last twelve months to put the Coast Defences in a state of complete efficiency.  Upwards of £70,000 has been expended at Sheerness, and the fortifications extend 1 ½ mile.  The several bastions when completed will mount a grand total of 105 guns, some of which are already mounted.  Four guns will be 56 pounders and the rest 52 and 32 pounders. 

At Tilbury fort 69 guns, many of which are mounted on dwarf traversing platforms.  Gravesend fort 15 guns.  In addition to which large armament guns are to be erected at Cole House Point, a few miles below Gravesend, at the entrance of the sea reach, and on the Isle of Grain opposite Sheerness:   In addition to the old barracks, which will accommodate 400 new men, new barracks are about to be erected, between the north wall of the dockyard and the left flank of the new fortification, to accommodate 800 men and officers; the estimated cost of which is £26,000.  Stephen Phillips, barrack master.


  • Guest
Re: The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 18:36:46 »
The Ville of Sheerness is a sea port in the parish of Minster, situated on the north-west point of the Isle of Sheppey, at the conflux of the Medway with the Thames, near the Nore, the population of which is returned with the parish of Minster. It is entirely separate from it as to its civil jurisdiction, but ecclesiastically continues to form a part of it.

The town consists of three districts, called Bankstown, Bluetown, and Miletown.  The principal streets contain many good houses, shops and inns, and are paved, drained, and lighted with gas.  In the cross streets are many wooden houses, occupied with the workmen in the dockyard.  From the facilities afforded by the beach, which is remarkably clean, Sheerness has become during the summer months a favourite resort for sea-bathing.  Hot and cold baths are provided on the beach, and near it is an elegant hotel.  The inhabitants suffered much from want of good water till near the close of the last century, since which time several wells have been dug, one in Ordnance Marsh, another 360 feet deep, in Bluetown, a third in the dockyard, and others in Mile town.           

The harbour is often crowded with vessels of war, and has a most magnificent appearance.  Steam boats maintain a regular communication with London during the summer season, and ply daily to and from Chatham.  This place in the reign of Charles I, was no more than a watery swamp, on the point of which, in the next reign, there was mounted a small fort of twelve guns, to defend the passage up the river Medway.  In which situation it continued till the Dutch war broke out in that reign, when a royal fort was begun here; but it was in a most defenceless state when the Dutch that year, made their memorable attempt upon the royal navy in the river Medway. Though the best defence was made with the unfinished fortifications, yet the Dutch fleet no sooner appeared within distance, but with their cannon they beat the works flat and drove the men from the ground; after which they sailed up the river and did considerable damage to the shipping. This bold attempt gave such an alarm to the nation, as well for the safety of the royal docks and magazines at Chatham, as for the navy itself, from the defenceless state of the river Medway, that this fort was immediately afterwards increased to a regular fortification, and a line of cannons mounted on it.

To be continued.


  • Guest
The Isle of Sheppey Liberty 1847
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 18:35:49 »

THE ISLE OF SHEPPY LIBERTY, formerly considered as part of the Hundred of Milton, is bounded on the north by the mouth of the Thames, and the Margate roads on the south, by the river Swale, on the west by the Medway, and has the Isle of Harty at the south-east corner.  It contains the parishes of Eastchurch, Elmley Isle of, Leysdown, Minster, Queenborough, and Warden.  This Island is about eleven miles in length, and eight miles at its greatest breadth, and upwards of thirty miles in circumference, including the Isle of Harty.  The grounds in this Isl
and rise from the shores on the south-east and west, but on the north side it appears by the height of the cliffs, to have once extended much further.  The cliffs are in length about six miles, and gradually decline at each end.  About Minster they are near thirty yards in perpendicular height above the beach, and consisting of clay, are continually wasting and falling down.  The soil of the greatest part of the Island is a very stiff clay, but most rich feeding land.  The roads throughout the Island are very good, being made of the fine gravel of the beach pits.  Fresh water is very scarce, and the air subject to noxious vapours from the marshes, but the prospects are pleasing and extensive.


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