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education. In this town are also several Charity Schools, Sunday Schools, Alms-houses, a Poor-house, and various other charitable institutions. A large proportion of the inhabitants of Maidstone are said to be Dissenters, and here are places of worship for Presbyterians, Independents, Quakers, Baptists, Unitarians, and Methodists.
The Shire Hall, in which the Assizes for the County are held, is a respectable building, erected at the joint expense of the Corporation, and of the inhabitants of the western division of Kent, the Quarter Sessions and other meetings for which also take place here. The New Gaol, which is very extensive, covering a space of above 13 acres of land, is considered to be one of the finest edifices of the kind in the kingdom, and its regulations are entitled to great commendation. Barracks, both for infantry and cavalry, were established here during the late war, and are very large, and well situated. A neat Theatre stands in the High Street, and handsome and commodious Assembly Rooms have been built not far from the Barracks.
The situation of this town, near the centre of the county, and on the banks of a navigable stream, gives it advantages for trade, which have led to its present flourishing condition. In the reign of Elizabeth the manufacture of thread was introduced here by the Walloon refugees, and it is still carried Here is also a very extensive distillery, the produce of which, called Maidstone Geneva, is in high estimation; several breweries; an iron foundry, and various paper mills in the vicinity. This is also the great mart for the hops produced in the neighbourhood; a large quantity of timber is brought from the Weald of Kent, and sent from hence by water to Chatham, &c.; and all these branches of trade employ an infinite number of barges, hoys, and small vessels of various descriptions, and render this town the busiest in the county. It has a weekly Market on Thursday for corn, &c.; and a stock Market the second Tuesday in every month, beside four annual fairs. A handsome new Market-house has lately been erected here, in a very advantageous situation, near the centre of the town; in this building the corn business is transacted, and behind it is an ex
cellent Market, laid out in the most judicious manner, in separate departments, for butchers, poulterers, fishmongers, &c. Various other improvements are projected in this town, which is now well paved, and lighted with gas; and, in every point of view, may be regarded as one of the most flourishing places in Kent. The population in 1821 was stated to be 12,508; but a great increase has taken place since that period.
Maidstone has given birth to several celebrated men, among whom are, Andrew Broughton, secretary to the High Court of Justice which tried and condemned Charles I; and who, being excepted from the Act of Indemnity passed soon after the Restoration, escaped to Switzerland, where he died at Vevay, in 1687, aged 84;-Thomas Trapham, who was surgeon to Fairfax and Cromwell, and who embalmed the body, and sewed on the head of Charles I, after his execution, on which occasion he unfeelingly remarked that "he had sewed on the head of a goose;" he died in 1683;-and William Woollett, the inimitable engraver, whose talents were employed on all subjects, and were in all supereminent. He was born here in 1735, and the first distinguished work in which he was employed was the well-known Niobe, from Wilson's painting. This he executed in so masterly a manner as at once to establish his fame, which was augmented by the successive production of the Death of Wolfe, from West; the Fishery, (esteemed his master-piece), and a great variety of others. He also engraved portraits and animals, with equal fidelity and beauty. He died at London, in consequence of an accident, May 23, 1785, and was buried in St. Pancras Church-yard; an elegant monument to his memory has since been erected in Westminster Abbey.
MALLING, commonly called West or Town Malling, is a very neat little town, beautifully situated six miles from Maidstone, and 29 from London, having, in 1821, 1205 inhabitants. Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, founded a Nunnery here in 1090, which subsisted till the Reformation, when its possessions were very considerable. Many remains of its buildings are still in existence, particularly a portion of
the west end of its Church, which affords a beautiful specimen of Norman architecture.
The parish Church is a large and handsome fabric, with a fine tower at the west end; the greater part of the nave fell down in 1778, but has since been rebuilt, and the whole is now in very good order. Here is a National School, on Dr. Bell's plan. Three annual fairs are held, in which considerable business is done in hops. EAST MALLING is a small village, with a Church, contiguous to the above town, but possesses nothing remarkable.
A well-known and fashionable sea-bathing place, 72 miles from London, has arisen to its present eminence within the last 60 years; as, about the middle of the eighteenth century, we are informed by Lewis, in his History of the Isle of Thanet, it was "a small fishing town, irregularly built, and the houses, generally, old and low." It is, notwithstanding, a place of great antiquity, and has been a member of the Cinque Port of Dover from a very remote period. It was originally called St. John's, from the name of the parish in which it is situated; and is supposed to have received its present appellation" from there being in it," according to Lewis, a gate or way into the sea, just by a little Mere, now called, by the inhabitants, the Brooks."
About 1760 it was discovered by some medical men that sea-air and sea-bathing were infallible remedies for a variety of those diseases" which flesh is heir to;" and it being about the same time found out that an excursion to the coast would very pleasantly occupy the summer months, their recommendation was received with much more favour than usually falls to the lot of their prescriptions. First the nobility and gentry, then the wealthy citizen, and afterwards the tradesman and his family, repaired to the sea-side; and Margate, from its fine shore, limpid waters, healthy and pleasant situation, and the facility of communication afforded by the Thames (now incalculably increased by the introduction of steam navigation), has experienced a greater share of the advantages arising from the resort of strangers during the season than any other
place of this description. The average number of visitors, is stated in a Margate Guide published in 1809, to be about 20,000; while the Receipt Book at the Pier Office shews the number of passengers by the Steam Packets, between April 1825, and March 1826, to have amounted to 63,051.
In 1769 the first of the modern buildings in this town was erected by some gentlemen of property in the neighbourhood, and called, from one of them, Cecil Square; this was soon followed by Hawley Square; and a number of handsome streets, squares, crescents, &c. have since arisen on every side, until the fixed population of the place, which in the reign of Elizabeth was not above 500 persons, is now estimated at more than 10,000, exclusive of the temporary residents, for whose accommodation a great number of Hotels and Boarding-houses are established.
The period when the first Pier was built here is unknown, but it must be very remote, as Leland, who wrote in the time of Henry VIII, mentions it as being then "sore decayed." In the reign of Elizabeth certain rates on corn, &c. were imposed to keep it in repair; but in 1662, it appears to have been again in a very ruinous condition, the trade of the harbour being so small as not to produce enough for its reparation, and what was received is said, in a memorial presented to the Duke of York, then Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports," not to be duly improved for that end." It does not appear, however, that any steps were at that time taken to remedy the evil; and it was not until 1725 that an Act of Parliament was obtained, enabling the Pier Wardens to enforce the collection of the ancient rates, and to apply them to the effectual preservation of the harbour. In 1787 and 1799 further Acts were passed, increasing the dues, and extending the powers of the Commissioners; and, under these Acts, the Pier was cased with stone, enlarged, and strengthened. Thus it continued until, in the night between the 14th and 15th of January, 1808, a tremendous storm, which did very great damage to the town, also destroyed nearly a third of the Pier; the total amount of loss occasioned by this dreadful hurricane, at Margate alone, was estimated at £35,000.
After several ineffectual attempts at reparation, it was found necessary to rebuild the Pier; and an Act of Parliament being obtained in 1812, enabling 70 persons therein named to raise £30,000 for the purpose, and to form a body corporate, called the Company of Proprietors of Margate Pier and Harbour," Mr. Rennie was employed, and under his superintendence the present pile was reared, at an expense of £90,000. It is 901 feet long, 60 wide, and 26 high, with a parapet of 4 feet 6 inches; having a handsome Light-house lately erected at its extremity. The Promenade, the favourite lounge of visitors, is elevated 7 feet above the level of the Pier; it is 856 feet long, and 18 wide; has a canvas awning, is brilliantly illuminated with gas, and attended by a band of musical performers in the evening.
To obviate the difficulty experienced in landing or embarking at low water, a wooden pier, or jetty, was projected by Mr. Jarvis (a gentleman to whom Margate has many obligations), and carried into effect in 1824; it runs 1062 feet into the sea, is 18 feet wide, and admirably adapted to its object; a handsome arch forms the entrance from the town, over which is inscribed "Jarvis's Landing Place."
The Old Church is a spacious and venerable structure, dedicated to St. John Baptist, and supposed to have been built about 1050; it stands on an elevated spot on the south-east of the town, and consists of a nave, chancel, and aisles, with a square tower, four pinnacles, and a low spire. The interior contains several monuments, and some ancient brasses; is well paved, and has a good organ, presented, in 1795, by Mr. Cobb, of this town. Until 1290 it was a chapel of ease to Minster, but was at that period made parochial.
The great increase in the population of Margate, having long rendered it impossible for St. John's Church to receive all those who might be willing to attend there, it was at length determined to erect a new building, and the first stone of an edifice, dedicated to the Ever-blessed Trinity, was laid in September, 1825. This Church is now completed; it is an elegant building, of Gothic architecture, 143 feet long and 71 wide, with a tower 130 feet in height. The situation is well chosen, and it is a great orna