1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kent (county)
KENT, a south-eastern county of England, bounded N. by the Thames estuary, E. and S.E. by the English Channel, S.W. by Sussex, and W. by Surrey. In the north-west the administrative county of London encroaches upon the ancient county of Kent, the area of which is 1554.7 sq. m. The county is roughly triangular in form, London lying at the apex of the western angle, the North Foreland at that of the eastern and Dungeness at that of the southern. The county is divided centrally, from west to east, by the well-marked range of hills known as the North Downs, entering Kent from Surrey. In the west above Westerham these hills exceed 800 ft.; to the east the height is much less, but even in Kent (for in Surrey they are higher) the North Downs form a more striking physical feature than their height would indicate. They are intersected, especially on the north, by many deep valleys, well wooded. At three points such valleys cut completely through the main line of the hills. In the west the Darent, flowing north to the Thames below Dartford, pierces the hills north of Sevenoaks, but its waters are collected chiefly from a subsidiary ridge of the Downs running parallel to the main line and south of it, and known as the Ragstone Ridge, from 600 to 800 ft. in height. The Medway, however, cuts through the entire hill system, rising in the Forest Ridges of Sussex, flowing N.E. and E. past Tonbridge, collecting feeders from south and east (the Teise, Beult and others) near Yalding, and then flowing N.E. and N. through the hills, past Maidstone, joining the Thames at its mouth through a broad estuary. The rich lowlands, between the Downs and the Forest Ridges to the south (which themselves extend into Kent), watered by the upper Medway and its feeders, are called the Vale of Kent, and fall within the district well known under the name of the Weald. The easternmost penetration of the Downs is that effected by the Stour (Great Stour) which rises on their southern face, flows S.E. to Ashford, where it receives the East Stour, then turns N.E. past Wye and Canterbury, to meander through the lowlands representing the former channel which isolated the Isle of Thanet from the mainland. The channel was called the Wantsume, and its extent may be gathered from the position of the village of Fordwich near Canterbury, which had formerly a tidal harbour, and is a member of the Cinque Port of Sandwich. The Little Stour joins the Great Stour in these lowlands from a deep vale among the Downs.
About two-thirds of the boundary line of Kent is formed by tidal water. The estuary of the Thames may be said to stretch from London Bridge to Sheerness in the Isle of Sheppey, which is divided from the mainland by the narrow channel (bridged at Queensbridge) of the Swale. Sheerness lies at the mouth of the Medway, a narrow branch of which cuts off a tongue of land termed the Isle of Grain lying opposite Sheerness. Along the banks of the Thames the coast is generally low and marshy, embankments being in several places necessary to prevent inundation. At a few points, however, as at Gravesend, spurs of the North Downs descend directly upon the shore. In the estuary of the Medway there are a number of low marshy islands, but Sheppey presents to the sea a range of slight cliffs from 80 to 90 ft. in height. The marshes extend along the Swale to Whitstable, whence stretches a low line of clay and sandstone cliffs towards the Isle of Thanet, when they become lofty and grand, extending round the Foreland southward to Pegwell Bay. The coast from Sheppey round to the South Foreland is skirted by numerous flats and sands, the most extensive of which are the Goodwin Sands off Deal. From Pegwell Bay south to a point near Deal the coast is flat, and the drained marshes or levels of the lower Stour extend to the west; but thence the coast rises again into chalk cliffs, the eastward termination of the North Downs, the famous white cliffs which form the nearest point of England to continental Europe, overlooking the Strait of Dover. These cliffs continue round the South Foreland to Folkestone, where they fall away, and are succeeded west of Sandgate by a flat shingly shore. To the south of Hythe this shore borders the wide expanse of Romney Marsh, which, immediately west of Hythe, is overlooked by a line of abrupt hills, but for the rest is divided on the north from the drainage system of the Stour only by a slight uplift. The marsh, drained by many channels, seldom rises over a dozen feet above sea-level. At its south-eastern extremity, and at the extreme south of the county, is the shingly promontory of Dungeness. Within historic times much of this marsh was covered by the sea, and the valley of the river Rother, which forms part of the boundary of Kent with Sussex, entering the sea at Rye harbour, was represented by a tidal estuary for a considerable distance inland.
Geology.—The northern part of the county lies on the southern rim of the London basin; here the beds are dipping northwards. The southern part of the county is occupied by a portion of the Wealden anticline. The London Clay occupies the tongue of land between the estuaries of the Thames and Medway, as well as Sheppey and a district about 8 m. wide stretching southwards from Whitstable to Canterbury, and extending eastwards to the Isle of Thanet. It reappears at Pegwell Bay, and in the neighbourhood of London it rises above the plastic clay into the elevation of Shooter’s Hill, with a height of about 450 ft. and a number of smaller eminences. The thickness of the formation near London is about 400 ft., and at Sheppey it reaches 480 ft. At Sheppey it is rich in various kinds of fossil fish and shells. The plastic clay, which rests chiefly on chalk, occupies the remainder of the estuary of the Thames, but at several places it is broken through by outcrops of chalk, which in some instances run northwards to the banks of the river. The Lower Tertiaries are represented by three different formations known as the Thanet beds, the Woolwich and Reading beds, and the Oldhaven and Blackheath beds. The Thanet beds resting on chalk form a narrow outcrop rising into cliffs at Pegwell Bay and Reculver, and consist (1) of a constant base bed of clayey greenish sand, seldom more than 5 ft. in thickness; (2) of a thin and local bed composed of alternations of brown clay and loam; (3) of a bed of fine light buff sand, which in west Kent attains a thickness of more than 60 ft.; (4) of bluish grey sandy marl containing fossils, and almost entirely confined to east Kent, the thickness of the formation being more than 60 ft.; and (5) of fine light grey sand of an equal thickness, also fossiliferous. The middle series of the Lower Tertiaries, known as the Woolwich and Reading beds, rests either on the Thanet beds or on chalk, and consists chiefly of irregular alternations of clay and sand of very various colours, the former often containing estuarine and oyster shells and the latter flint pebbles. The thickness of the formation varies from 15 to 80 ft., but most commonly it is from 25 to 40 ft. The highest and most local series of the Lower Tertiaries is the Oldhaven and Blackheath beds lying between the London Clay and the Woolwich beds. They consist chiefly of flint pebbles or of light-coloured quartzose sand, the thickness being from 20 to 30 ft, and, are best seen at Oldhaven and Blackheath. To the south the London basin is succeeded by the North Downs, an elevated ridge of country consisting of an outcrop of chalk which extends from Westerham to Folkestone with an irregular breadth generally of 3 to 6 miles, but expanding to nearly 12 miles at Dartford and Gravesend and also to the north of Folkestone. After dipping below the London Clay at Canterbury, it sends out an outcrop which forms the greater part of Thanet. Below the chalk is a thin crop of Upper Greensand between Otford and Westerham. To the south of the Downs there is a narrow valley formed by the Gault, a fossiliferous blue clay. This is succeeded by an outcrop of the Lower Greensand—including the Folkestone, Sandgate and Hythe beds with the thin Atherfield Clay at the base—which extends across the country from west to east with a breadth of from 2 to 7 m., and rises into the picturesque elevations of the Ragstone hills. The remains of Iguanodon occur in the Hythe beds. The valley, which extends from the borders of Sussex to Hythe, is occupied chiefly by the Weald clays, which contain a considerable number of marine and freshwater fossils. Along the borders of Sussex there is a narrow strip of country consisting of picturesque sandy hills, formed by the Hastings beds, whose highest elevation is nearly 400 ft. and the south-west corner of the county is occupied by Romney Marsh, which within a comparatively recent period has been recovered from the sea. Valley gravels border the Thames, and Pleistocene mammalia have been found in fissures in the Hythe beds at Ightham, where ancient stone implements are common. Remains of crag deposits lie in pipes in the chalk near Lenham. Coal-measures, as will be seen, have been found near Dover.
The London Clay is much used for bricks, coarse pottery and Roman cement. Lime is obtained from the Chalk and Greensand formations. Ironstone is found in the Wadhurst Clay, a subdivision of the Hastings beds, clays and calcareous ironstone in the Ashdown sand, but the industry has long been discontinued. The last Wealden furnace was put out in 1828.
Climate and Agriculture.—The unhealthiness of certain portions of the county caused by the marshes is practically removed by draining. In the north-eastern districts the climate is somewhat uncertain, and damage is often done to early fruit-blossoms and vegetation by cold easterly winds and late frosts. In the large portion of the county sheltered by the Downs the climate is milder and more equable, and vegetation is somewhat earlier. The average temperature for January is 37.9° F. at Canterbury, and 39.8° at Dover; for July 63.3° and 61.6° respectively, and the mean annual 50° and 50.2° respectively. Rainfall is light, the mean annual being 27.72 in. at Dover, and 23.31 at Margate, compared with 23.16 at Greenwich. The soil is varied in character, but on the whole rich and under high cultivation. The methods of culture and the kinds of crop produced are perhaps more widely diversified than those of any other county in England. Upon the London Clay the land is generally heavy and stiff, but very fruitful when properly manured and cultivated. The marsh lands along the banks of the Thames, Medway, Stour and Swale consist chiefly of rich chalk alluvium. In the Isle of Thanet a light mould predominates, which has been much enriched by fish manure. The valley of the Medway, especially the district round Maidstone, is the most fertile part of the county, the soil being a deep loam with a subsoil of brick-earth. On the ragstone the soil is occasionally thin and much mixed with small portions of sand and stone; but in some situations the ragstone has a thick covering of clay loam, which is most suitable for the production of hops and fruits. In the district of the Weald marl prevails, with a substratum of clay. The soil of Romney Marsh is a clay alluvium.
No part of England surpasses the more fertile portions of this county in the peculiar richness of its rural scenery. About three-quarters of the total area is under cultivation. Oats and wheat are grown in almost equal quantities, barley being of rather less importance. A considerable acreage is under beans, and in Thanet mustard, spinach, canary seed and a variety of other seeds are raised. But the county is specially noted for the cultivation of fruit and hops. Market gardens are very numerous in the neighbourhood of London. The principal orchard districts are the valleys of the Darent and Medway, and the tertiary soils overlying the chalk, between Rochester and Canterbury. The county is specially famed for cherries and filberts, but apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries and currants are also largely cultivated. In some cases apples, cherries, filberts and hops are grown in alternate rows. The principal hop districts are the country between Canterbury and Faversham, the valley of the Medway in mid Kent, and the district of the Weald. Much of the Weald, which originally was occupied by a forest, is still densely wooded, and woods are specially extensive in the valley of the Medway. Fine oaks and beeches are numerous, and yew trees of great size and age are seen in some Kentish churchyards, as at Stansted, while the fine oak at Headcorn is also famous. A large extent of woodland consists of ash and chestnut plantations, maintained for the growth of hop poles. Cattle are grazed in considerable numbers on the marsh lands, and dairy farms are numerous in the neighbourhood of London. For the rearing of sheep Kent is one of the chief counties in England. A breed peculiar to the district, known as Kents, is grazed on Romney Marsh, but Southdowns are the principal breed raised on the uplands. Bee-keeping is extensively practised. Dairy schools are maintained by the technical education committee of the county council. The South-eastern Agricultural College at Wye is under the control of the county councils of Kent and Surrey.
Other Industries.—There were formerly extensive iron-works in the Weald. Another industry now practically extinct was the manufacture of woollen cloth. The neighbourhood of Lamberhurst and Cranbrook was the special seat of these trades. Among the principal modern industries are paper-making, carried on on the banks of the Darent, Medway, Cray and neighbouring streams; engineering, chemical and other works along the Thames; manufactures of bricks, tiles, pottery and cement, especially by the lower Medway and the Swale. A variety of industries is connected with the Government establishments at Chatham and Sheerness. Ship-building is prosecuted here and at Gravesend, Dover and other ports. Gunpowder is manufactured near Erith and Faversham and elsewhere.
Deep-sea fishing is largely prosecuted all round the coast. Shrimps, soles and flounders are taken in great numbers in the estuaries of the Thames and Medway, along the north coast and off Ramsgate. The history of the Kentish oyster fisheries goes back to the time of the Roman occupation, when the fame of the oyster beds off Rutupiae (Richborough) extended even to Rome. The principal beds are near Whitstable, Faversham, Milton, Queenborough and Rochester, some being worked by ancient companies or gilds of fishermen.
After the cessation in 1882 of works in connexion with the Channel tunnel, to connect England and France, coal-boring was attempted in the disused shaft, west of the Shakespeare Cliff railway tunnel near Dover. In 1890 coal was struck at a depth of 1190 ft., and further seams were discovered later. The company which took up the mining was unsuccessful, and boring ceased in 1901, but the work was resumed by the Consolidated Kent Collieries Corporation, and an extension of borings revealed in 1905 the probability of a successful development of the mining industry in Kent.
Communications.—Railway communications are practically monopolized by the South Eastern & Chatham Company, a monopoly which has not infrequently been the cause of complaint on the part of farmers, traders and others. This system includes some of the principal channels of communication with the continent, through the ports of Dover, Folkestone and Queenborough. The county contains four of the Cinque Ports, namely, Dover, Hythe, New Romney and Sandwich. Seaside resorts are numerous and populous—on the north coast are Minster (Sheppey), Whitstable and Herne Bay; there is a ring of watering-places round the Isle of Thanet—Birchington, Westgate, Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate; while to the south are Sandwich, Deal, Walmer, St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe, Dover, Folkestone, Sandgate and Hythe. Tunbridge Wells is a favourite inland watering-place. The influence of London in converting villages into outer residential suburbs is to be observed at many points, whether seaside, along the Thames or inland. The county is practically without inland water communications, excluding the Thames. The Royal military canal which runs along the inland border of Romney Marsh, and connects the Rother with Hythe, was constructed in 1807 as part of a scheme of defence in connexion with the martello towers or small forts along the coast.
Population and Administration.—The area of the ancient county is 995,014 acres, with a population in 1901 of 1,348,841. In 1801 the population was 308,667. Excluding the portion which falls within the administrative county of London the area is 974,950 acres, with a population in 1891 of 807,269 and in 1901 of 935,855. The area of the administrative county is 976,881 acres. The county contains 5 lathes, a partition peculiar to the county. The municipal boroughs are Bromley (pop. 27,354), Canterbury, a city and county borough (24,889), Chatham (37,057), Deal (10,581), Dover (41,794), Faversham (11,290), Folkestone (30,650), Gillingham (42,530), Gravesend (27,196), Hythe (5557), Lydd (2675), Maidstone (33,516), Margate (23,118), New Romney (1328), Queenborough (1544), Ramsgate (27,733), Rochester, a city (30,590), Sandwich (3170), Tenterden (3243), Tunbridge Wells (33,373). The urban districts are Ashford (12,808), Beckenham (26,331), Bexley (12,918), Broadstairs and St Peter’s (6466), Cheriton (7091), Chislehurst (7429), Dartford (18,644), Erith (25,296), Foots Cray (5817), Herne Bay (6726), Milton (7086), Northfleet (12,906), Penge (22,465), Sandgate (2294), Sevenoaks (8106), Sheerness (18,179), Sittingbourne (8943), Southborough (6977), Tonbridge (12,736), Walmer (5614), Whitstable (7086), Wrotham (3571). Other small towns are Rainham (3693) near Chatham, Aylesford (2678), East Malling (2391) and West Malling (2312) in the Maidstone district; Edenbridge (2546) and Westerham (2905) on the western border of the county; Cranbrook (3949), Goudhurst (2725) and Hawkhurst (3136) in the south-west. Among villages which have grown into residential towns through their proximity to London, beyond those included among the boroughs and urban districts, there should be mentioned Orpington (4259). The county is in the south-eastern circuit, and assizes are held at Maidstone. It has two courts of quarter sessions, and is divided into 17 petty sessional divisions. The boroughs having separate commissions of the peace and courts of quarter sessions are Canterbury, Deal, Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Gravesend, Hythe, Maidstone, Margate, Rochester, Sandwich and Tenterden; while those of Lydd, New Romney, Ramsgate and Tunbridge Wells have separate commissions of the peace. The liberty of Romney Marsh has petty and general sessions. The justices of the Cinque Ports exercise certain jurisdiction, the non-corporate members of the Cinque Ports of Dover and Sandwich having separate commissions of the peace and courts of quarter sessions. The central criminal court has jurisdiction over certain parishes adjacent to London. All those civil parishes within the county of Kent of which any part is within twelve miles of, or of which no part is more than fifteen miles from, Charing Cross are within the metropolitan police district. The total number of civil parishes is 427. Kent is mainly in the diocese of Canterbury, but has parts in those of Rochester, Southwark and Chichester. It contains 476 ecclesiastical parishes or districts, wholly or in part. The county (extra-metropolitan) is divided into 8 parliamentary divisions, namely, North-western or Dartford, Western or Sevenoaks, South-western or Tunbridge, Mid or Medway, North-eastern or Faversham, Southern or Ashford, Eastern or St Augustine’s and the Isle of Thanet, each returning one member; while the boroughs of Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Gravesend, Hythe, Maidstone and Rochester each return one member.
History.—For the ancient kingdom of Kent see the preceding article. The shire organization of Kent dates from the time of Aethelstan, the name as well as the boundary being that of the ancient kingdom, though at first probably with the addition of the suffix “shire,” the form “Kentshire” occurring in a record of the folkmoot at this date. The inland shire-boundary has varied with the altered course of the Rother. In 1888 the county was diminished by the formation of the county of London.
At the time of the Domesday Survey Kent comprised sixty hundreds, and there was a further division into six lests, probably representing the shires of the ancient kingdom, of which two, Sutton and Aylesford, correspond with the present-day lathes. The remaining four, Borowast Lest, Estre Lest, Limowast Lest and Wiwart Lest, existed at least as early as the 9th century, and were apparently named from their administrative centres, Burgwara (the burg being Canterbury), Eastre, Lymne and Wye, all of which were meeting places of the Kentish Council. The five modern lathes (Aylesford, St Augustine, Scray, Sheppey and Sutton-at-Hone) all existed in the time of Edward I., with the additional lathe of Hedeling, which was absorbed before the next reign in that of St Augustine. The Nomina Villarum of the reign of Edward II. mentions all the sixty-six modern hundreds, more than two-thirds of which were at that date in the hands of the church.
Sheriffs of Kent are mentioned in the time of Æthelred II., and in Saxon times the shiremoot met three times a year on Penenden Heath near Maidstone. After the Conquest the great ecclesiastical landholders claimed exemption from the jurisdiction of the shire, and in 1279 the abbot of Battle claimed to have his own coroner in the hundred of Wye. In the 13th century twelve liberties in Kent claimed to have separate bailiffs. The assizes for the county were held in the reign of Henry III. at Canterbury and Rochester, and also at the Lowey of Tonbridge under a mandate from the Crown as a distinct liberty; afterwards at different intervals at East Greenwich, Dartford, Maidstone, Milton-next-Gravesend and Sevenoaks; from the Restoration to the present day they have been held at Maidstone. The liberty of Romney Marsh has petty and quarter sessions under its charters.
Kent is remarkable as the only English county which comprises two entire bishoprics, Canterbury, the see for East Kent, having been founded in 597, and Rochester, the see for West Kent, in 600. In 1291 the archdeaconry of Canterbury was co-extensive with that diocese and included the deaneries of Westbere, Bridge, Sandwich, Dover, Elham, Lympne, Charing, Sutton, Sittingbourne, Ospringe and Canterbury; the archdeaconry of Rochester, also co-extensive with its diocese, included the deaneries of Rochester, Dartford, Malling and Shoreham. In 1845 the deaneries of Charing, Sittingbourne and Sutton were comprised in the new archdeaconry of Maidstone, which in 1846 received in addition the deaneries of Dartford, Malling and Shoreham from the archdeaconry of Rochester. In 1853 the deaneries of Malling and Charing were subdivided into North and South Malling and East and West Charing. Lympne was subdivided into North and South Lympne in 1857 and Dartford into East and West Dartford in 1864. Gravesend and Cobham deaneries were created in 1862 and Greenwich and Woolwich in 1868, all in the archdeaconry of Rochester. In 1873 East and West Bridge deaneries were created in the archdeaconry of Canterbury, and Croydon in the archdeaconry of Maidstone. In 1889 Tunbridge deanery was created in the archdeaconry of Maidstone. In 1906 the deaneries of East and West Dartford, North and South Malling, Greenwich and Woolwich were abolished, and Shoreham and Tunbridge were transferred from Maidstone to Rochester archdeaconry.
Between the Conquest and the 14th century the earldom of Kent was held successively by Odo, bishop of Bayeux, William of Ypres and Hubert de Burgh (sheriff of the county in the reign of Henry III.), none of whom, however, transmitted the honour, which was bestowed by Edward I. on his youngest son Edmund of Woodstock, and subsequently passed to the families of Holland and Neville (see Kent, Earls and Dukes of). In the Domesday Survey only five lay tenants-in-chief are mentioned, all the chief estates being held by the church, and the fact that the Kentish gentry are less ancient than in some remoter shires is further explained by the constant implantation of new stocks from London. Greenwich is illustrious as the birthplace of Henry VIII., Mary and Elizabeth. Sir Philip Sidney was born at Penshurst, being descended from William de Sidney, chamberlain to Henry II. Bocton Malherbe was the seat of the Wottons, from whom descended Nicholas Wotton, privy councillor to Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary and Elizabeth. The family of Leiborne of Leiborne Castle, of whom Sir Roger Leiborne took an active part in the barons’ wars, became extinct in the 14th century. Sir Francis Walsingham was born at Chislehurst, where his family had long flourished; Hever Castle was the seat of the Boleyns and the scene of the courtship of Anne Boleyn by Henry VIII. Allington Castle was the birthplace of Sir Thomas Wyat.
Kent, from its proximity to London, has been intimately concerned in every great historical movement which has agitated the country, while its busy industrial population has steadily resisted any infringement of its rights and liberties. The chief events connected with the county under the Norman kings were the capture of Rochester by William Rufus during the rebellion of Odo of Bayeux; the capture of Dover and Leeds castles by Stephen; the murder of Thomas à Becket at Canterbury in 1170; the submission of John to the pope’s legate at Dover in 1213, and the capture of Rochester Castle by the king in the same year. Rochester Castle was in 1216 captured by the dauphin of France, to whom nearly all Kent submitted, and during the wars of Henry III. with his barons was captured by Gilbert de Clare. In the peasants’ rising of 1381 the rebels plundered the archbishop’s palace at Canterbury, and 100,000 Kentishmen gathered round Wat Tyler of Essex. In 1450 Kent took a leading part in Jack Cade’s rebellion; and in 1554 the insurrection of Sir Thomas Wyat began at Maidstone. On the outbreak of the Great Rebellion feeling was much divided, but after capturing Dover Castle the parliament soon subdued the whole county. In 1648, however, a widespread insurrection was organized on behalf of Charles, and was suppressed by Fairfax. The county was among the first to welcome back Charles II. In 1667 the Dutch fleet under De Ruyter advanced up the Medway, levelling the fort at Sheerness and burning the ships at Chatham. In the Kentish petition of 1701 drawn up at Maidstone the county protested against the peace policy of the Tory party.
Among the earliest industries of Kent were the iron-mining in the Weald, traceable at least to Roman times, and the salt industry, which flourished along the coast in the 10th century. The Domesday Survey, besides testifying to the agricultural activity of the country, mentions over one hundred salt-works and numerous valuable fisheries, vines at Chart Sutton and Leeds, and cheese at Milton. The Hundred Rolls of the reign of Edward I. frequently refer to wool, and Flemish weavers settled in the Weald in the time of Edward III. Tiles were manufactured at Wye in the 14th century. Valuable timber was afforded by the vast forest of the Weald, but the restrictions imposed on the felling of wood for fuel did serious detriment to the iron-trade, and after the statute of 1558 forbidding the felling of timber for iron-smelting within fourteen miles of the coast the industry steadily declined. The discovery of coal in the northern counties dealt the final blow to its prosperity. Cherries are said to have been imported from Flanders and first planted in Kent by Henry VIII., and from this period the culture of fruits (especially apples and cherries) and of hops spread rapidly over the county. Thread-making at Maidstone and silk-weaving at Canterbury existed in the 16th century, and before 1590 one of the first paper-mills in England was set up at Dartford. The statute of 1630 forbidding the exportation of wool, followed by the Plague of 1665, led to a serious trade depression, while the former enactment resulted in the vast smuggling trade which spread along the coast, 40,000 packs of wool being smuggled to Calais from Kent and Sussex in two years.
In 1290 Kent returned two members to parliament for the county, and in 1295 Canterbury, Rochester and Tunbridge were also represented; Tunbridge however made no returns after this date. In 1552 Maidstone acquired representation, and in 1572 Queenborough. Under the act of 1832 the county returned four members in two divisions, Chatham was represented by one member and Greenwich by two, while Queenborough was disfranchised. Under the act of 1868 the county returned six members in three divisions and Gravesend returned one member. By the act of 1885 the county returned eight members in eight divisions, and the representation of Canterbury, Maidstone and Rochester was reduced to one member each. By the London Government Act of 1892 the borough of Greenwich was taken out of Kent and made one of the twenty-eight metropolitan boroughs of the county of London.
Antiquities.—As was to be expected from its connexion with the early history of England, and from its beauty and fertility, Kent possessed a larger than average number of monastic foundations. The earliest were the priory of Christ’s Church and the abbey of St Peter and St Paul, now called St Augustine’s, both at Canterbury, founded by Augustine and the monks who accompanied him to England. Other Saxon foundations were the nunneries at Folkestone (630), Lyminge (633; nunnery and monastery), Reculver (669), Minster-in-Thanet (670), Minster-in-Sheppey (675), and the priory of St Martin at Dover (696), all belonging to the Benedictine order. Some of these were refounded, and the principal monastic remains now existing are those of the Benedictine priories at Rochester (1089), Folkestone (1095), Dover (1140); the Benedictine nunneries at Malling (time of William Rufus), Minster-in-Sheppey (1130), Higham (founded by King Stephen), and Davington (1153); the Cistercian Abbey at Boxley (1146); the Cluniac abbey at Faversham (1147) and priory at Monks Horton (time of Henry II.), the preceptory of Knights Templars at Swingfield (time of Henry II.); the Premonstratensian abbey of St Radigund’s, near Dover (1191); the first house of Dominicans in England at Canterbury (1221); the first Carmelite house in England, at Aylesford (1240); and the priory of Augustinian nuns at Dartford (1355). Other houses of which there are slight remains are Lesnes abbey, near Erith, and Bilsington priory near Ashford, established in 1178 and 1253 respectively, and both belonging to the Augustinian canons; and the house of Franciscans at Canterbury (1225). But no remains exist of the priories of Augustinian canons at Canterbury (St Gregory’s; 1084), Leeds, near Maidstone (1119), Tunbridge (middle of 12th century), Combwell, near Cranbrook (time of Henry II.); the nunnery of St Sepulchre at Canterbury (about 1100) and Langdon abbey, near Walmer (1192), both belonging to the Benedictines; the Trinitarian priory of Mottenden near Headcorn, the first house of Crutched Friars in England (1224), where miracle plays were presented in the church by the friars on Trinity Sunday; the Carmelite priories at Sandwich (1272) and Losenham near Tenterden (1241); and the preceptory of Knights of St John of Jerusalem at West Peckham, near Tunbridge (1408).
Even apart from the cathedral churches of Canterbury and Rochester, the county is unsurpassed in the number of churches it possesses of the highest interest. For remains of a date before the Conquest the church of Lyminge is of first importance. Here, apart from the monastic remains, there may be seen portions of the church founded by Æthelburga, wife of Edwin, king of Northumberland, and rebuilt, with considerable use of Roman material, in 965 by St Dunstan. There is similar early work in the church of Paddlesworth, not far distant. Among numerous Norman examples the first in interest is the small church at Barfreston, one of the most perfect specimens of its kind in England, with a profusion of ornament, especially round the south doorway and east window. The churches of St Margaret-at-Cliff, Patrixbourne and Darenth are hardly less noteworthy, while the tower of New Romney church should also be mentioned. Among several remarkable Early English examples none is finer than Hythe church, but the churches of SS. Mary and Eanswith, Folkestone, Minster-in-Thanet, Chalk, with its curious porch, Faversham and Westwell, with fine contemporary glass, are also worthy of notice. Stone church, near Dartford, a late example of this style, transitional to Decorated, is very fine; and among Decorated buildings Chartham church exhibits in some of its windows the peculiar tracery known as Kentish Decorated. Perpendicular churches, though numerous, are less remarkable, but the fine glass of this period in Nettlestead church may be noticed. The church of Cobham contains one of the richest collections of ancient brasses in England.
Kent is also rich in examples of ancient architecture other than ecclesiastical. The castles of Rochester and Dover are famous; those of Canterbury and Chilham are notable among others. Ancient mansions are very numerous; among these are the castellated Leeds Castle in the Maidstone district, Penshurst Place, Hever Castle near Edenbridge, Saltwood and Westenhanger near Hythe, the Mote House at Ightham near Wrotham, Knole House near Sevenoaks, and Cobham Hall. Minor examples of early domestic architecture abound throughout the county.
Authorities.—A full bibliography of the many earlier works on the county and its towns is given in J. R. Smith’s Bibliotheca Cantiana (London, 1837). There may be mentioned here W. Lambarde, Perambulation of Kent (London, 1576, 1826); R. Kilburne, Topographie or Survey of the County of Kent (London, 1659); J. and T. Philipot, Villare Cantianum (London, 1659, 1776); J. Harris, History of Kent (London, 1719); E. Hasted, History and Topographical Survey of Kent (4 vols. folio, Canterbury, 1778–1799; 2nd ed., 12 vols. 8vo, Canterbury, 1797–1801); W. H. Ireland, History of the County of Kent (London, 1828–1830); C. Sandys, Consuetudines Kantiae (London, 1851); A. Hussey, Notes on the Churches of Kent (London, 1852); L. B. Larking, The Domesday Book of Kent (1869); R. Furley, History of the Weald of Kent (Ashford, 1871–1874); W. A. Scott Robertson, Kentish Archaeology (London, 1876–1884); Sir S. R. Glynne, Notes on Churches of Kent, ed. W. H. Gladstone (London, 1877); J. Hutchinson, Men of Kent and Kentish Men (London, 1892); Victoria County History, “Kent.” See also Archaeologia Cantiana (translations of the Kent Archaeological Society, London, from 1858).