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ORIGIN OF THE NAME OF KENT.

333

LETTER I. ..

INTRODUCTION; ORIGIN OF THE NAME OF KENT; DEPTFORD ;
GREENLAND DOCK ; TRINITY HOUSE ; DR. GALE; GREENWICH ;
THE HOSPITAL; FLAMSTEAD HOUSE ; BLACKHEATA; WOOLWICH ;
· ROYAL ACADEMY; THE CONVICTS ; LEE CHURCH; MANSION OF
SIR GREGORY PAGE; DERMODY ; PROSPECT FROM SHOOTER's

HILL; LADY JAMES'S POLLY; TELEGRAPA ; ORIGIN OF THE · NAME SHOOTER'S HILL; HISTORY OF TIIE BOW; BY ITS USE, - BRITAIN ONCE DISTINGUISHED.

MY WORTHY YOUNG FRIEND, THE amusement which you profess to have re- ; ceived from the perusal of my former Tours through England and Wales, encourages me to ' address you on the present occasion. It will afford me pleasure to know that this sketch of a neighbouring county is equally acceptable to you; topics of entertainment and instruction offer themselves to our attention, and it becomes us to appropriate every incident to our improvement. "I pretend not to detail what has escaped the notice of other traveilers; but it shall be my province to collect interesting particulars, which, aided by my own ob- , servations, may gratify curiosity. . . · The celebrated Julius Cæsar, in his Commentaries, makes mention of KENT, it being the theatre of his renowned actions in Britain. He bestows on it the name of Cantium, so that the revolution of eighteen hundred years has produced no other change than the giving it a more English sound. Camden thinks, with probability, that Kent is so called from Britain here extending into a large

signifies .

The term is si

aldry.

334 ORIGIN OF THE NAME OF KENT.
corner eastward, and might therefore be derived
from the word Canton or Cant, which signifies a
corner. In this sense the term is still used in the
science of heraldry. The length of this county,
from east to west, is sixty-three miles, its average
breadth thirty-five miles; its circumference includes
nearly one hundred and seventy miles. Yorkshire,
Devonshire, Lincolnshire, Hampshire, and North-
umberland, are the only larger counties in Great
Britain. Nor must we forget that this county
is proverbial for its fertility:

O famous KENT!
What county hath this isle that can compare with thee?
That hath within thyself as much as thou canst wish;
Nor any thing doth waut that any where is good.

DRAYTON.

Two curious volumes relative to Kent were lately lent me by my friend Mr. Edward Thornton, the title pages of which shall be here transcribed; the first, a black lettered volume, runs thus: “A Perambulation of Kent, containing the description, hystorie, and customes of that shyre, written in the yeere 1570, by William Lambard of Lincolnes Inne, Gent. ; first published, in the yeere 1576, and now increased and altered after the author's own copie. Imprinted at London, by Edmond Bollifant, 1596." It is embellished by a singular map of the Saxon Heptarchy. The second volume has this title; “ A Topography or Survey of the county of Kent, with some Chronological, Historical, and other Matters touching the Same, and the several Parishes and Places therein. By Richard Kilburne, of Hawkherst, Esq.

DEPTFORD.

335 London; printed by Thomas Mabb, for Henry Atkinson, and are to be sold at his shop at Staple Inn Gate, in Holborne, 1659.” Between these two publications there is a distance of near a hundred years, but each has many interesting particulars respecting Kent, and gratifying to the curiosity.

Leaving London for Canterbury, we passed through the Borough, and soon reached Deptford. This is the first place we met with on the road, and is entitled to attention. Standing on the river Ravensbourne, it is supposed at this part to have had a deep ford, which would have easily passed into its present name of Deptford. It first began to assume an importance in the reign of Henry VIII. who erected a store-house here for the royal navy. In the dock-yard belonging to government, about 1000 men are employed. Near this spot is the house where Peter the Great, Czar of Muscovy, lived; here he learned the art of ship-building which he carried with him to Russia, and by the cultivation of which the prosperity of that vast empire was advanced :- .

Immortal Peter! first of monarchs he,
Who greatly spurn’d the slothful pomp of courts ;
And roaming ev'ry land, in every port,
His sceptre laid aside-with glorious hand
Unweary'd plying the mechanic tool,
Gather'd the seeds of trade, of useful arts,
Of civil wisdom, and of martial skill. THOMSON,

· Nor was it far from hence that the remains of the Pelican were deposited, in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe. Out of its re

336

DEPTFORD. lics a chair was made and presented to the university of Oxford. This circumstance gave rise to these lines of Cowley:

To this great ship which round the world has run,
And match'd in race the chariot of the sun!
This Pythagorean ship (for it may claim
Without presumption so desery'd a name)
By knowledge once and transformation now
In her new shade this sacred port allow.
Drake and his ship could not have wish'd from fate
A happier station or more bless'd estate,
For lo! a seat of endless rest is given
To her in Oxford-and to him in heaven!

Besides the royal dock-yard, are extensive yards in the vicinity of Deptford, particularly those of Messrs. Brents, at Greenland, now called Commercial Dock, well known to the mercantile world. In this dock ships laden with blubber find a retreat, and the oil extracted here is considerable. However useful this may be to mankind, the pro- . cess of its operation is offensive, for it is impossible to say, one word on its fragrancy.

The Trinity-house at Deptford is a society of utility. It was incorporated by Henry VIII. and its privileges in successive reigns have received enlargement. Its province is to take cognizance of sea-marks and erect light-houses, cleanse the Thames, grant licences to poor seamen not free of the city to row on the river, examine the mathematical children at Christ's hospital, appoint pilots, and assist in other matters connected with the maritime departments of the country. This corporation is governed by a master, four wardens, eight assistants, and eighteen elder brethren. The

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