The Victoria history of the county of Kent, England


The history and topography of Kent are so peculiarly attractive that many historians have turned their attention to the county and it has thus been supplied with a continuous flow of topographical works from the sixteenth century to the present day. The first of its historians, and perhaps the earliest English county historian, was William Lambarde, who in 1576 published his Perambulation of Kent containing the Description, Hystorie and Customes of that Shyre. Lambarde was born in 1536 and was the son of a draper and alderman of London. He practised law and after publishing some collections relating to the Anglo-Saxon period completed his Perambulation of Kent in 1570. This, his principal work, although not quite on the lines of the more modern county histories, gives most quaint and interesting descriptions of old customs which during the period of change in which he lived were fast passing away. After serving the office of Keeper of the Records for some years he died in 1601. Lambarde's work was followed in 1659 by Richard Kilburne's Topographie or Survey of the County of Kent and John Philipot's Villare Cantiutn, published by his son Thomas Philipot, but neither of these can well be considered a county history. In 1719 Dr. John Harris, a profuse writer, published a History of Kent which, although not of the strictest accuracy, contains much information and is accompanied by a series of plates of great interest by Kyp.

It is however to Edward Hasted that we naturally turn as the historian of Kent. Born in 1732 he was brought up to the law and was a man of considerable property till, like other county historians, his work involved him in pecuniary difficulties. His History of Kent was issued in four volumes, the first of which appeared in 1778 and the last in 1799. It is said to have occupied over forty years of his life, and from the care with which it is compiled may be classed among the best of our county histories. It shows an enormous amount of research, particularly among the records of the ecclesiastical corporations which were available to him in the county; but the public records, then distributed in various offices and not easily accessible, are somewhat neglected. A new edition of this history was contemplated by Mr. Henry H. Drake, but only the first volume including the Hundred of Blackheath was completed and published in 1886. It is much fuller in detail than Hasted's work and considerable use has been made of the public records now collected together at the Public Record Office.


Table of Contents

Dedication v
The Advisory Council of the Victoria History vii
General Advertisement vii
The Kent County Committee xiii
Contents xv
List of Illustrations xvii
Preface xxi
Table of Abbreviations xxiii
Natural History

Geology 1
Palaeontology 31
Botany 45
Introduction 45
Mosses (Musci) 68
Scale-Mosses (Hepaticae) 72
Freshwater Algae 73
Marine Algae 74
Characeae 76
Lichens (Lichenes) 77
Fungi 79
Marine 91
Molluscs 103
Insects 99
Orthoptera (Earwigs, Grasshoppers, Crickets, etc.) 103
Neuroptera (Dragonflies, Stoneflies, Lacewings, etc) 106
Hymenoptera Phytophaga (Sawflies, etc.) 108
Hymenoptera Entomophaga (Ichneumon-flies, etc.) 112
Hymenoptera Tubulifera (Ruby-tailed flies) 113
Hymenoptera Aculeata (Ants, Wasps and Bees) 114
Coleoptera (Beetles) 122
Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) 178
Rhopalocera 179
Heterocera 184
Micro-Lepidoptera 198
Diptera (Flies) 209
Hemiptera Heteroptera (Bugs) 214
Hemiptera Homoptera (Cica-das, Fiend-flies, Lantern-flies, etc.) 222
Spiders 226
Crustaceans 237
Fishes 263
Reptiles and Batrachians 266
Birds 267
Mammals 302
Early Man 307
Anglo-Saxon Remains 339
Ancient Earthworks 389
Appendix I. The Deneholes of Kent 446
Appendix II. On the Embankments of the Thames in Kent 454
Agriculture 457
Forestry 471
Sport, Ancient and Modern 479
Hunting 479
Fox-Hunting 479
Staghounds 485
The Mid-Kent Staghounds 485
Harriers 486
Point-to-Point Racing 488
Draghounds 489
Foot Harriers and Beagles 490
Otter-Hunting 490
Coursing 491
Racing 492
Flat Racing 493
Steeplechasing 496
Famous Owners, Trainers and Horses 498
Polo 500 Shooting 501
Angling 504
Cricket 509
Golf 513
Athletics 516


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If our study of the geology of Kent were to be confined to the strata which constitute the surface only, we should find its rock structure so faithfully reflected in its simple physical features that a knowledge of the shape of the ground would almost necessarily convey an idea of the broader outlines of its stratigraphy. The rising ground south of the Thames, composed of the soft Tertiary clays and sands; the bold range of the North Downs, formed by the Chalk emerging from beneath these and terminating southward in a steep escarpment; the hollow at the foot of this range, where the underlying Gault Clay reach the surface; the lower range of hilly ground running parallel to the Downs, composed of the harder beds of the Lower Greensand, which come next in downward stratigraphical succession; the broad plain south of these hills, underlain by the Weald Clay; and finally the pleasant rising ground along the southern margin of the county, where the sands and sandstones of the Hastings Series emerge from beneath the Weald Clay all these features of the surface are directly due to the character of the strata and to the direction in which the beds are sloping.