A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Charminster (St. Mary)
CHARMINSTER (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Dorchester, hundred of George, Dorchester division of Dorset, 2 miles (N. W. by N.) from Dorchester; containing 827 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, with the living of Stratton annexed; net income, £137; patrons and impropriators, the Pickard family. The great tithes have been commuted for £510, the perpetual curate's for £12, and the tithes of the landowners for £155. The church has been enlarged by the addition of 174 free sittings.
Charmouth (St. Matthew)
CHARMOUTH (St. Matthew), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Axminster, hundred of Whitchurch-Canonicorum, Bridport division of Dorset, 2 miles (N. E. by E.) from Lyme Regis; containing 620 inhabitants. This place derives its name from its situation at the mouth of the river Char, which here falls into the English Channel. It was the scene of a sanguinary battle in 833, between the Saxons, under Egbert, and the Danes, who, though many of them were killed in the action, yet maintained their post, and made good their retreat to their ships. Another battle was fought in 840, when the Danes defeated the Saxons under Ethelwolf, but, without improving their victory, precipitately embarked, leaving their booty behind. In the 7th of Edward I. the abbot of the monastery of Ford, in the vicinity, obtained for the inhabitants the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair. After the battle of Worcester, Charles II. and his suite fled to the place, intending to escape into France; but, being frustrated in that expectation, quitted it without delay. On this occasion, a blacksmith having discovered, from the manner of shoeing the horse of Lord Wilmot, who had remained behind, that the party came from the north, a pursuit was instantly commenced, but without success. The village is pleasantly situated at the base of a steep hill, round which the road was carried in 1758; and, from its situation on the coast, is a place of resort for sea-bathing. The scenery is enlivened by the river Char, over which is a bridge leading to the village; and the neighbouring cliffs abound with martial pyrites, bitumen, and other inflammable matter, which after heavy rains emit a vivid flame, and were particularly observable in the year 1751. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 16. 8., and in the gift of certain Trustees: the tithes have been commuted for £120, and the glebe comprises 6 acres. The church was lately rebuilt. There is a place of worship for Independents.
CHARNDON, a hamlet, in the parish of Twyford, union, hundred, and county, of Buckingham, 7¼ miles (W. S. W.) from Winslow; containing 190 inhabitants.
CHARNES, a township, and formerly a chapelry, in the parish of Eccleshall, union of Stone, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Eccleshall; containing 98 inhabitants. It lies north of the road from Eccleshall to Nantwich. Charnes Hall is a pleasant mansion: near it stood Charnes chapel, of which nothing save the site now remains.
CHARNEY, a chapelry, in the parish of Longworth, union of Farringdon, hundred of Ganfield, county of Berks, 4¼ miles (N. by W.) from Wantage; containing 275 inhabitants, and comprising 1159a. 2r. 16p. The chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, is of early Norman architecture. Here is a circular fortification called Cherbury Castle, surrounded by a double trench, resembling the fortification of Badbury, in Dorsetshire, and traditionally said to have belonged to Canute the Great.
CHARNHAM-STREET, a tything, in the parish and union of Hungerford, hundred of Kinwardstone, Marlborough and Ramsbury, and S. divisions of Wilts; containing 401 inhabitants.
CHARNOCK, HEATH, a township, in the district chapelry of Adlington, parish of Standish, union of Chorley, hundred of Leyland, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 3 miles (S. E.) from Chorley; containing 1062 inhabitants. Heath-Charnock was held by the Banaster family as early as the reign of John. Subsequently, the principal proprietors were a family denominated, from the situation of their mansion, the Asshawes of the Hall on the Hill, and the hill itself was termed a manor, though it does not appear that this place ever possessed manorial rights. The Harringtons, Stanleys, and others, afterwards became proprietors. The township is on the borders of the Rivington hills, and comprises 1596a. 3r. 23p., whereof two-thirds are pasture: collieries are in operation, and good stone is quarried. The river Yarrow, the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and North-Union railway, pass through. The tithes have been commuted for £102. A church school is supported by subscription.
CHARNOCK-RICHARD, a township, in the district chapelry of Coppull, parish of Standish, union of Chorley, hundred of Leyland, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 3 miles (S. W. by W.) from Chorley; containing 784 inhabitants. This place was held in moieties by the Charnocks and Banasters: afterwards the manor came to the Lee family; and by marriage with the daughter of Sir Henry de Lee, a moiety devolved to the Hoghtons, who subsequently became possessed of the whole. The township is separated from Heath-Charnock by the township of Duxbury; it lies on the road from Preston to Wigan, and the river Yarrow and North-Union railway pass through it. Coal and stone are wrought. The tithes have been commuted for £246. 1. A school is partly supported by the landowners.
Charsfield (St. Peter)
CHARSFIELD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Woodbridge, hundred of Loes, E. division of Suffolk, 5½ miles (N. by W.) from Woodbridge; containing 551 inhabitants, and comprising by measurement 1299 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £106; patron and impropriator, Earl Howe, whose tithes have been commuted for £160. There is a place of worship for Particular Baptists.
Chart, or Churt
CHART, or Churt, a tything, in the parish of Frensham, hundred of Farnham, W. division of Surrey, 5¼ miles (N. W.) from Haslemere; containing 432 inhabitants. A manufactory for coarse earthenware is carried on to a limited extent. A chapel was erected in 1838, by subscription, aided by a grant from the Pastoral Aid Society: the chaplain is appointed by the incumbent of Frensham, and his stipend is paid by the society.
Chart, Great (St. Mary)
CHART, GREAT (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of West Ashford, hundred of Chart and Longbridge, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Ashford; containing 714 inhabitants. This parish, called by the Saxons Sybertes Chert, and in Domesday book Certh, lies chiefly on the Quarry hills, the southern part being within the Weald, the boundary of which runs east and west, to the north of the church. The parish comprises 3281 acres, whereof 150 are in wood, and 160 common. The town, which was burnt by the Danes, was anciently of some importance, having a weekly market, and a great fair on the 5th of April for sheep and oxen; the market is disused, but the remains of the market-house were formerly visible in the field where the fair is still held. Chart is now a small village; which, from its elevated situation, commands an extensive and picturesque view of the surrounding country. On the 1st of May, 1580, a violent earthquake was felt here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £25. 6. 0½., and in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury: the tithes have been commuted for £700, and the glebe comprises 13 acres, with a glebe-house. There is a place of worship for a congregation of Wesleyans.
Chart, Little (St. Mary)
CHART, LITTLE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of West Ashford, hundred of Calehill, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 2 miles (S. W. by W.) from Charing; containing 300 inhabitants. It comprises 1607a. 2r. 30p., of which 207 acres are in wood; and the South-Eastern railway passes about three miles from the village. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 10. 10., and in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury: the tithes have been commuted for £400, and the glebe contains about 30 acres, with a glebe-house. The church, which is ancient, contains some handsome monuments to the Darell family, and one to the memory of a descendant of Camden, the historian, which is remarkable for the elegance of the inscription.
Chart, Sutton (St. Michael)
CHART, SUTTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Hollingbourn, hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 5 miles (S. E. by S.) from Maidstone; containing 604 inhabitants. This parish, in Domesday book called Certh, is intersected from east to west by the Quarry, or northern range of hills, here forming the boundary of the Weald. It comprises by measurement 2165 acres, the soil of which on the hills is light and spongy, and on the lower grounds clay; the whole land, excepting the pastures, is employed in the cultivation of fruit and hops. The southern declivity, both from its genial aspect and the richness of the soil, is well adapted to the culture of vines. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 12. 8½., and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Rochester: the glebe contains 8½ acres. The church, which stands near Sutton-Valence, on the summit of the acclivity upon which the village is built, was, with its beautiful spire, destroyed by lightning in 1779, but was rebuilt; it belonged to Leeds Priory.
Charterhouse-Hinton, county of Somerset.—See Hinton, Charterhouse.
CHARTERHOUSE-HINTON, county of Somerset. —See Hinton, Charterhouse.
CHARTERHOUSE-on-Mendip, a district, in the union of Axbridge, liberty of Wytham Friary (though locally in the hundred of Winterstoke), E. division of Somerset, 5½ miles (E. N. E.) from Axbridge; containing 99 inhabitants. Here was a cell to the priory of Witham, which, as part of the possessions of that establishment, was granted away in the 36th of the reign of Henry VIII.
CHARTERIDGE, a hamlet, in the parish of Chesham, union of Amersham, hundred of Burnham, county of Buckingham; containing 404 inhabitants.
Chartham (St. Mary)
CHARTHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bridge, hundred of Felborough, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 3 miles (S. W. by W.) from Canterbury; containing, with the chapelry of Horton, 974 inhabitants. It comprises 4530 acres; and is situated on the river Stour, over which, near the village, is an ancient structure of five arches, called Shalmsford Bridge. About 700 acres are covered with wood. The manufacture of paper is carried on to a moderate extent, and there are also some seed-mills. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £41. 5. 10., and in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury: the tithes have been commuted for £800, and there is a glebe of 34¾ acres. The church is of early decorated architecture, with very fine windows, and some remains of richlystained glass; the roof is of wood and the tower of flint, both being of later date than the stone-work. It contains a monumental arch and some old brasses, one in particular of Sir Robert Septvan, having the alæ of the knight's armour, and in other respects peculiar; in the chancel lie the remains of Dr. John Reading, chaplain to Charles I., and author of some religious tracts. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Numerous tumuli, raised over the slain in the decisive conflict between Cæsar and Cassivelaunus, lie scattered at the distance of about three-quarters of a mile from the church, on the road to Canterbury.
Chartington, in the parish of Rothbury, county of Northumberland.—See Cartington.
CHARTINGTON, in the parish of Rothbury, county of Northumberland.—See Cartington.
CHARTLEY-HOLME, an extra-parochial liberty, locally in the parish of Stowe, S. division of the hundred of Pirehill, union, and N. division of the county, of Stafford, 7½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Stafford; containing 71 inhabitants. In this liberty are about 2000 acres of the Chartley estate, of which nearly 1000 are in Chartley Park, a mile and a half north from Stowe. The park is in a state of nature, inclosed within an ancient oak paling, and studded with a few aged trees and several small plantations; it is celebrated for its breed of wild cattle, the superiority of its venison, and the abundance of its black game. On the summit of an artificial hill, stand the remains of Chartley Castle, built in 1220 by Ranulph Blundeville, Earl of Chester, whose sister (he dying without issue) carried his extensive estates in marriage to William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby. The castle seems to have soon fallen into decay, and its remains now consist chiefly of the fragments of two massive round towers, partly covered with ivy, and rising amid the foliage of numerous full-grown yewtrees that have weathered the storms of many centuries. The noble owners afterwards built, a little below the old castle, a more convenient mansion in the half-timbered style, curiously carved, and embattled at the top; but it was destroyed by fire in 1781, and little now remains to mark its site but the moat by which it was surrounded. Since then, another but a smaller house was raised near the same spot, which was, till lately, the occasional residence of the Earl Ferrers. Chartley Moss, comprising about 100 acres, is prolific in cranberries.
Charwelton (Holy Trinity)
CHARWELTON (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Daventry, hundred of Fawsley, S. division of the county of Northampton, 5 miles (S. W. by S.) from Daventry; containing 227 inhabitants. This place is partly bounded on the west by a portion of Warwickshire, and comprises by measurement 2258 acres, chiefly rich pasture land, with about 20 acres of wood; it contains excellent gravel, and stone is quarried for agricultural purposes, and for common buildings. The river Cherwell, from which the place took its name, rises in the cellar of a farmhouse in the parish, called Cherwell House. The village is intersected by the road from Daventry to Banbury. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 2. 11.; net income, £582; patron, Sir Charles Knightley, Bart. The church consists of a nave, north and south aisles, and a small side chapel; the arches are in the early English style, and the tower is remarkably well built and proportioned. The font is octagonal, and is a curious piece of workmanship; the church contains some good monuments of brass, and has a handsome one of marble to the memory of the Andrew family, the ancient possessors of the manor-house. The village, now situated at the distance of three-quarters of a mile from the church, is supposed to have been originally adjoining it, which opinion is confirmed by traces of foundations discovered near the church.
Chaseley (St. John The Baptist)
CHASELEY (St. John The Baptist), a parish, in the union of Tewkesbury, Lower division of the hundred of Pershore, Upton and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 3 miles (S. W. by W.) from Tewkesbury; containing 364 inhabitants. The parish lies at the southern extremity of the county, and is bounded on the south-east by the river Severn, and on all other sides, except the north-west, by the shire of Gloucester; it contains 1677 acres, and the road from Upton to Gloucester passes along its western border. Corn, cheese, and cider are the principal products. The living is a discharged perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £5. 14. 7.; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. The great tithes have been commuted for £327, and the vicarial for £177; the glebe contains about one acre. The church is an ancient edifice with a tower and spire. Thomas Tuberville, in 1728, bequeathed land, producing £14 per annum, for which children are taught.
Chastleton (St. Mary)
CHASTLETON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Chipping-Norton, hundred of Chadlington, county of Oxford, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Chipping Norton; containing 239 inhabitants. The parish is memorable as the scene of a sanguinary conflict in 1016, between Edmund Ironside and Canute, when the latter was defeated with great slaughter. The manor anciently belonged to the family of Catesby, of which one of the members was principally concerned in the gunpowder plot, in the reign of James I.: the manor-house is a handsome building, in the Elizabethan style. The parish comprises by computation 1650 acres, 1141 of which are pasture, 460 arable, and 25 woodland. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 0. 2½.; net income, £336; patron, Sir R. Westmacott. The church is in the early English style, with an embattled tower of two stages, of which the lower is Norman. In the vicinity are vestiges of a Danish fortification.
CHATBURN, a district chapelry and a township, in the parish of Whalley, union of Clitheroe, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Clitheroe; the township containing 500 inhabitants. This township is situated on the river Ribble, at the base of Pendle hill, and on the road from Clitheroe to Skipton. It comprises 923a. 3r. 39p., whereof about 100 acres are arable, 740 meadow and pasture, 20 woodland, 40 acres buildings and roads, and 25 covered by water; the surface is irregular, the soil good, resting upon limestone, and the scenery picturesque, with fine views of the castle of Clitheroe and the vale of the Ribble: two quarries of limestone are in operation. The Chatburn brook issues from the wild fissures of Pendle hill, and increases the Ribble below the village. The line of the Blackburn, Clitheroe, and North-Western railway, passes here. The chapelry includes the township of Worston: the living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £160, and is in the patronage of Hulme's Trustees; incumbent, the Rev. Robert Ingram. The tithes have been purchased by the landowners. The chapel, consecrated in 1838, is in the Romanesque style, and is a neat structure with a spire, it was erected at a cost of £1622, of which the Incorporated Society gave £250: of 364 sittings, 189 are free. A national school is supported by subscription. The limestone abounds in fossils.
CHATCULL, a township, in the parish of Eccleshall, union of Stone, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Eccleshall; containing 68 inhabitants. It is one of the townships included in the Cotes quarter, and lies between two tributaries to the river Sow, and north of the road from Eccleshall to Nantwich.
Chatham (St. Mary)
CHATHAM (St. Mary), a borough, market-town, and parish, and the head of the Medway union, partly within the jurisdiction, and adjoining the city, of Rochester, but chiefly in the hundred of Chatham and Gillingham, N. division of the lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 8 miles (N. by E.) from Maidstone, and 30 (E. by S.) from London; containing 21,939 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Ceteham and Cettham, derives its name from the Saxon Cyte, a cottage, and Ham, a village; and, till it rose into importance as the seat of one of the principal naval arsenals in the kingdom, was only an inconsiderable village. At the Conquest, the lord of the manor espoused the cause of Harold, and for his loyalty to that prince was deprived of his possessions, which were conferred upon Crevecœur, who accompanied the Conqueror to England. The town is situated on the south-east bank of the river Medway, and on the north side of Chatham Hill; and, though extensive, is irregularly built, partly from the nature of the ground, which, in every direction, is very hilly, and partly from the large space occupied by its vast naval establishments. The dockyard for the royal navy was commenced in the reign of Elizabeth, when it occupied the site of the present ordnance wharf, and was protected by Upnor Castle, which that queen caused to be erected for its defence. In 1622, it was removed to its present situation, and greatly enlarged by Charles I., who erected capacious storehouses, and constructed new docks, to enable ships to float in with the tide. It was still further improved by Charles II., in whose reign the Dutch Admiral de Ruyter, having cast anchor at the Nore with fifty sail of the line, sent his vice-admiral, Van Ghent, with seventeen of his lightest vessels and eight fire-ships, to destroy the shipping in the river Medway: the vice-admiral attacked and took Sheerness, though gallantly defended by Sir Edward Spragge, blew up the fortifications, burnt the storehouses, &c., and, sailing up the Medway with six men of war and five fire-ships, came in front of Upnor Castle, at that time defended by Major Scot, whose warm reception of the assailant frustrated his attempt on Chatham.
The dockyard occupies an extensive area, nearly a mile in length, inclosed on the land side by a high wall, and defended by strong fortifications, principally of modern erection; the entrance is through a spacious gateway, flanked by two embattled towers. The houses of the superintendent and the principal officers are spacious and handsome buildings, and the various offices in the several departments of the yard are neat and commodiously arranged. The numerous storehouses, one of which is 660 feet in length, contain an immense quantity of every article necessary for the building and equipment of ships of the largest dimensions, all disposed with such order and exactness, that upon any emergency a first-rate man of war may be equipped for sea in a few days. The mast-house is 240 feet in length, and 120 feet wide; and the new rope-house 1110 in length, and 50 wide. At the north-eastern extremity of the dockyard are the saw-mills, erected on a very extensive scale, under the superintendence of Mr. Brunel, at an expense of nearly £57,000, and worked with powerful machinery propelled by steam. To the north of the mills is a canal, which, on entering the rising ground, passes under a tunnel 300 feet long, into an elliptic basin, from which the timber, having been floated from the river, is raised by machinery with extraordinary velocity. Connected with the steam-engine of the saw-mills are water-works, for the supply of the dockyard, the infantry and marine barracks, and Melville hospital. There are four wet-docks sufficiently capacious for first-rate men of war, two of which, lately constructed, are of stone; besides two others for smaller vessels. There are also six slips or launches, for building ships of the largest dimensions; and among the many fine vessels launched from this dockyard are some of the first-rate men of war in the royal navy. In time of war the number of artificers and labourers employed exceeds 3000. Within the walls is a neat brick chapel, erected in 1811, at an expense of £9000. The ordnance wharf occupies a narrow site of land between the church and the river, to the west of the dockyard, and is still called the Old Dock. A large building has been erected in the dockyard for the grinding of paint, and the rolling and smelting of lead by steam.
Prior to the year 1760, the defence of the arsenal was entrusted principally to guard-ships in the river, to forts on its banks, especially at Sheerness, to Upnor Castle, built by Queen Elizabeth, and to a small fort below Gillingham, erected by Charles I.; but in 1758, an act of parliament was passed for the erection of such works as might be requisite for more perfect security, under the provisions of which act the extensive fortifications, called the Lines, were constructed. These works commence above the ordnance wharf, on the bank of the Medway, and are continued round an area one mile in extent from south to north, and half a mile from west to east (including the church of Chatham, the village of Brompton, which is principally inhabited by the artificers in the yard and the barracks, magazines, &c.), to beyond the northern extremity of the dockyard, where they again meet the river. The fortifications were enlarged during the American war, and strengthened by the erection of a strong redoubt on the summit of an eminence commanding the river; and in 1782, an act was procured for their further improvement, under which considerable additions have been made to the Lines, which now constitute, next to those of Portsmouth, the most complete and regular fortification in the kingdom. Forts Pitt and Clarence, two redoubts flanking the southern extremity of the Lines, are situated on the heights overlooking the town, and command the upper part of the river; since the conclusion of the war, the former has been used as an hospital for invalids, and the latter as an asylum for lunatics. The lower or marine barracks, adjoining the upper extremity of the dockyard, consist of a uniform range of brick building, inclosing a spacious quadrangle: the upper barracks are also neatly built of brick, and are extensive and commodious. The new artillery barracks, in Brompton, built in 1804, are a fine range, forming three sides of a quadrangle, and containing apartments for the officers, lodgings for 1200 men, and requisite stabling; the open side of the quadrangle commands a good view of the Medway in the foreground, and of the Thames in the distance. The artillery hospital, a neat building, erected in 1809, contains wards for one hundred patients.
The town was much improved under the provisions of an act passed in 1772, for paving and lighting it; but the streets are still narrow and inconvenient for carriages. A philosophical and literary institution was established in 1827, the members of which have spacious premises; and a mechanics' institute was opened in 1837. There are two subscription libraries, one the United Service library, and the other the Marine library; and a horticultural society has been formed for Rochester, Chatham, and the vicinity. Races are held in August, on the extensive plain without the Lines. There is ready communication with Gravesend by means of the Rochester and Gravesend railway, which commences at Strood, on the left bank of the Medway. The market is on Saturday: fairs, for three days each, were held on May 15th and Sept. 19th, but they have fallen into disuse. Chatham is partly within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, and partly included in the limits of the city of Rochester. By the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, it was constituted a borough, with the privilege of sending a member to parliament: the right of election is vested in the £10 householders of a district comprising 1670 acres; the returning officer is appointed by the sheriff for the county.
The parish, exclusively of the ground whereon the town is built, comprises 3960 acres, of which the surface is in general broken, and the soil a thin chalky earth; there are tracts of woodland in different parts, covering 1051 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £961; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester. The parochial church is a neat plain structure of brick. The original edifice having been destroyed by fire, at the commencement of the fourteenth century, a new one was built under the sanction of a bull from the pope, who granted an indulgence of one year and forty days to all who should contribute to the work. In 1635 it was repaired and enlarged, and the steeple was rebuilt by the commissioners of the royal navy: in 1788, the body of the church was taken down, and rebuilt of brick upon a larger scale; and the churchyard being found too small, the Board of Ordnance subsequently gave three acres of ground, at a short distance from the church, for a cemetery, which was consecrated in 1828. St. John's church, of the Doric order, with a tower, and containing 1624 sittings, of which 1090 are free, was completed in 1821, at an expense of nearly £15,000, by grant of the Parliamentary Commissioners: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Incumbent of Chatham, who also presents to the perpetual curacy of Christ Church. The living of the dockyard chapel is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Lords of the Admiralty. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and Unitarians; also a Jews' synagogue. "The Rochester and Chatham Commercial and Mathematical School" was instituted in 1827; the building, which was opened on Oct. 1st, 1828, is situated on the Chatham and Maidstone road, and cost £1600. Melville or Marine hospital is a handsome range adjacent to the dockyard, begun in 1827, and finished in the following year, at an expense of £70,000, for the use of the whole naval department; it is built of brick and stuccoed. St. Bartholomew's Hospital was originally founded in 1078, by Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, as a lazarhouse: the estate has been invested in the Dean of Rochester, who is governor and patron; the institution consists of five persons, namely, the patron or master, and four brethren, two in holy orders, the other two being the town-clerk of Rochester and another layman. An hospital for decayed mariners and shipwrights was founded by Sir John Hawkins, in 1592; it consists of twelve dwellings. A fund, commonly called "the Chest," for the relief of sailors who have been disabled in the service, was established by Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, Knts., in 1588, when, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the seamen of the royal navy agreed to contribute a portion of their pay for the relief of their distressed brethren: this chest was removed to the royal hospital at Greenwich in 1802. The Medway poor law union, of which Chatham is the head, contains a population of 36,590. Numerous Roman remains were discovered in forming the fortifications. Chatham gave the title of Earl to the family of Pitt, now extinct.