Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]

offer sufficient temptation to the rapacity of Henry VIII.; and, probably from its poverty, this Hospital escaped suppression. As pilgrimages had ceased, however, with the destruction of their object, Archbishop Parker, in the reign of Elizabeth, ordained that the house should be devoted to the reception of poor and maimed soldiers, passing through Canterbury;" and that a free school should also be kept there. Towards the latter end of the same reign, Archbishop Whitgift framed a new set of ordinances, by which the Hospital is still governed, and in which it is enacted that a Master, in holy orders, shall have the management of its affairs, who shall appoint a schoolmaster to instruct twenty poor children in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The "poor soldiers" were left to seek other quarters, as it was ordered that they should no more be received here," but instead thereof, five in-brothers and five in-sisters," should be permanently accommodated; and after twenty years, a like number of out-brothers and outsisters should be maintained. As all this would be rather difficult to accomplish with fourpence a day, it is to be hoped that the revenues of this Hospital have considerably improved since the 14th century. Its buildings are of stone; ancient, but substantial.

A Convent of Black Friars was also situated in St. Peter's Street, and the Hall is now used as a Baptist Meeting House.

The Augustine, or White Friars, had a house in St. George's Street, of which the gateway still remains.

To the east of Stour Street is Maynard's Hospital, founded by Mayner le Riche in 1317; the original edifice having been destroyed by the great storm of 1708, the present brick building was erected by subscription in 1708. It maintains several poor persons of both sexes.

The City Workhouse, in Lamb Lane, was originally an Hospital for poor priests, founded by Simon Langton, brother of the Archbishop, in 1240. It was granted by Elizabeth, in 1574, to the Corporation of Canterbury, and was converted into a Bridewell. In 1729 it underwent another transformation, and became a general Workhouse, for the reception, and maintenance of the poor of this city. It is managed



by a body of guardians, consisting of the Mayor and those Aldermen who have passed the chair, and two other persons elected annually by each parish; sixteen blue-coat boys are also maintained and educated within its walls. The present building, which is of stone, was erected about the year 1373.

-The Priory of St. Gregory, founded by Archbishop Lanfranc in 1084, was situated at a short distance from North Gate. It shared the fate of other religious communities in the reign of Henry VIII.; and, by a singular revolution, its site is now occupied by buildings for the use of the military.

Nearly opposite is the Hospital of St. John, founded by the same prelate, and in the same year as the above; only a very small part of the original building remains, but it is still devoted to charitable purposes, and maintains a Prior, a Reader, and forty brethren and sisters.

Jesus Hospital, on the Margate road, was founded in 1612 by Sir John Boys, for eight men and four women; and also for the education of twenty boys. The numbers of both have been since increased, conformably to the will of the founder, in consequence of the improvement of its revenue.

In addition to those above enumerated, this city contains many other almshouses, of comparatively modern erection; and numerous remains of ecclesiastical foundations, now either occupied as private dwellings, or mouldering into ruin; the most remarkable of the latter is the Nunnery of St. Sepulchre, founded by Archbishop Anselm about 1100, one of the sisters of which was Elizabeth Barton, called the Holy Maid of Kent, who, by pretended dreams and prophecies, endeavoured to excite an insurrection against the measures of Henry VIII. as to the suppression of religious houses; but was seized, attainted of treason, and, with seven of her accomplices, executed at Tyburn.

The Town Hall is a neat edifice, which has been in part rebuilt within the last twenty years. It contains several good portraits, among which are those of Queen Anne and Sir Thomas White.

The Assembly Rooms, near the High Street, with a very large and elegant ball-room, were erected principally at the expence of the geutry of East

[ocr errors]

Kent. The lower part of the building is used as a Bank.

The Theatre is a handsome edifice, erected in 1790, and is situated in Prince of Orange Lane.

Extensive Barracks, both for cavalry and infantry, were erected in the neighbourhood of this city during the late war, at an immense expense, and the great number of soldiers quartered here at that time, gave an appearance of liveliness to the place which it does not in general possess.

An Agricultural Society was established here in 1793, under the patronage of the principal Kentish nobility and gentry.

There are several Markets in Canterbury for the sale of provisions, &c., as the Shambles, Butter Market, Cattle Market, and Fish Market; the market days are Wednesday and Saturday. Several Fairs are also held annually, the principal of which, called Jack and Joan's Fair, from its being a statute fair for hiring servants, commences on the 10th of October.

Among the celebrated natives of this city may be mentioned Dr. Thomas Linacre, born here in 1460, and who was physician to Henry VII. and VIII.; the latter of whom granted to him the Patent of Incorporation of the Royal College of Physicians of London, of which he became the first President, and held that office until his death in 1524. He bequeathed his house in Knight Rider Street (where the meetings of the Society had been held during his life) to the College; and here the members continued to assemble until the building fell a sacrifice to the great fire in the year 1666.

William Somner, the celebrated antiquary, was also born here, in St. Margaret's Parish, in 1606; and Bishop Kennet represents him as "so well pleased with his lot of breathing first in this fair ground, that neither mind nor body could be moved to any distance from it; he took pleasure to call it the place of his birth, education, and abode: and here, in studious content, he took up his cradle, his mansion, and his grave." In 1640 he published "The Antiquities of Canterbury;" and soon afterwards commenced the study of the Anglo-Saxon language, which he pursued with such laudable assiduity as to overcome all

[ocr errors]

its difficulties, and in 1659 he published his " Saxon Dictionary," an excellent work, which was succeeded in the following year by " A Treatise on Gavelkind,” a work peculiarly interesting to the natives of this county. He died in 1666, and was buried in St. Margaret's Church.

Mrs. Aphra Behn was born in this city, about 1642, died in 1689, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Her works, consisting of seventeen plays, beside numerous histories and novels, are deservedly forgotten in the present day; as, although they exhibit many indications of genius, invention, and command of language, they are deeply tainted with that impurity of thought and expression, from which few writers of the age in which she lived were exempt.


THE second city in the County of Kent, is of remote antiquity, although the period of its foundation cannot be accurately determined. It was distinguished by the ancient inhabitants by the appellation of Dur-brif, from the swiftness of the Medway, on which it is situated. Of this the Romans formed Durobrivis, by which name it is mentioned in the Itinerary of Antoninus. Under the Saxons it acquired the title of Hrof-ceastre, or Hrof's Castle, from the name of its possessor, which has been gradually softened into Rochester.

Numerous Roman remains have, at various periods, been discovered here, which sufficiently prove this city to have been a station of that people; but we are utterly unacquainted with its history until about the year 600, when Ethelbert, King of Kent, caused a church to be built here, which was dedicated to St. Andrew, and the city was erected into the see of a Bishop. By virtue of the power granted to him by the Pope, Augustine appointed Justus, who had accompanied him on his mission, to be the first bishop; and the episcopal throne of Rochester has since been filled by nearly one hundred prelates, of whom our limits will only permit us to mention, Gundulph, the celebrated military and ecclesiastical architect, who constructed the White Tower at London, the Ca

thedral and Castle of this city, and many other edifices; Fisher, one of the victims of Henry VIII.; Ridley, sacrificed by the sanguinary zeal of Mary; Atterbury, exiled for his attachment to the House of Stuart; and Horsley, distinguished as a polemical writer. The see is one of the smallest in England.

Rochester appears to have suffered dreadfully from the ravages of the Danes, particularly in 835, when they reduced it to ruins; in 885, when they besieged it, but were beaten off by King Alfred; and in 998, when they again utterly destroyed it. William the Conqueror granted it to Odo, Earl of Kent and Bishop of Bayeux, his half brother; but resumed it, on that prelate's disgrace, in 1083; and it was farmed out to the citizens by Henry I. for a yearly rent of £20, which grant was established by Henry II. and several succeeding monarchs, who also bestowed on the inhabitants many valuable privileges, and exemptions from the baronial exactions of the time. All the preceding charters were confirmed by Charles I., who, in 1630, ordained that "the Corporation shall consist of a Mayor, twelve Aldermen (of whom the Mayor shall be one), twelve Common Councilmen, a Recorder, Town Clerk," and other inferior officers. By this Charter the city is still governed.

Two Members have been returned to Parliament by this place ever since the 23d year of Edward I.; the right of election is in the freemen, whose numbers are about 1050. The population in 1821, including Chatham, was 24,063; the distance from Canterbury is 27 miles, and from London 29; and as the high road to the Continent passes through this city, it is visited in time of peace by a great number of travellers, for whose accommodation several inns have been established, some of which may vie with the best in the kingdom. The same cause has produced attention to the state of the road, and Rochester is now well paved, lighted and watched. The greater number of the inhabitants are employed in trade, or maritime affairs, and many persons are also occupied in the oyster fishery, which is under the direction of the Corporation, and is carried on by the " Company of Free Dredgers," whose institution is very ancient. The weekly market, on Friday, is well supplied.

« PoprzedniaDalej »