The town and parish of Deal

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.

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'The town and parish of Deal', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10, (Canterbury, 1800) pp. 1-23. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

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A View of Deal Castle as it was in the year 1640

LIES adjoining to Sholdon north-eastward, being written in antient writers, both Dola, (fn. 1) and Dale; in the survey of Domesday, Addelam, taking its name from its situation—a low open plain upon the seashore.

THIS PARISH, with the town and borough of Deal, was formerly part of the hundreds of Cornilo and Bewsborough, as appears by the survey of Domesday; but before the middle of king Henry III.'s reign, it was esteemed within the liberty and jurisdiction of the cinque ports, and on some disputes in king Henry Vi.'s time, relating to its being rated to the subsidy with the rest of those hundreds, the king, by his letters patent, in the 16th year of his reign, again united it to that jurisdiction, as a member to the port of Sandwich; accordingly it still continues a separate jurisdiction from those hundreds within the limits and liberties of the ports, having its own constables and officers, under the jurisdiction of its own justices.

The MANOR OF DEAL, alias CHAMBERLAIN'S FEE, was part of the antient possessions of the canons of the priory of St. Martin, in Dover, of whom it was held as a prebend, by the abbot and convent of St. Augustine; and it is accordingly thus entered under the general title of the canons lands, in the survey of Domesday;

In Beusberg hundred and in Cornelai hundred—In Addela, the abbot of St. Augustine holds one suling, and there he has three villeins and seven borderers, with one carucate and a half. It is worth thirty shillings. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, forty shillings. His predecessors held it as a prebend in like manner.

This estate was afterwards allotted by the abbot to the use of the chamber of the monastery, whence it acquired the name of Chamberlain's fee.

In the iter of H. de Stanton and his sociates, justices itinerant, in the year 1313, being the 7th of king Edward II.'s reign, the abbot, upon a quo warranto, claimed and was allowed sundry liberties therein mentioned in this manor, among others, and view of frank pledge, and wreck of the sea, in like manner as has been already mentioned in the description of the other manors belonging to the abbot and convent, in the former parts of this history. (fn. 2) And the liberty of the view of frank pledge was in particular further confirmed by king Edward II. in his 10th year. After which, king Edward III. in his 36th year, by his charter of in speximus, confirmed all their manors and possessions given by former kings, and by another the several liberties and confirmations made by his predecessors, among which were those before mentioned, and king Henry VI. likewise confirmed the same.

By a register of this abbey, made in the time of abbot Fyndon, about the 16th year of the above reign, it appears, that the lands here, belonging to the Chamberlain's fee, consisted of 121 acres of land and upwards, besides a portion of tithes within this parish.

After which, this manor remained with the monastery till its final dissolution, in the 30th year of that reign, when it was, with the other revenues of it, surrendered into the king's hands.

After which, I find nothing more of it, till the 42d year of queen Elizabeth, when it was granted by her as parcel of the manor of Ripple, to J. Hales, esq. of Tenterden, and he dying s. p. devised Chamberlain's fee to his nephew, Edward Hales, esq. afterwards created a baronet, and he alienated it in king James I.'s reign to Thomas Gookin, gent. whose grandson Richard Gookin, in 1699, passed it away to William Verrier, of Sandwich, and his son John, in 1712, conveyed it, one moiety to John Paramor, the elder, and the other moiety to John Hawker, of Sandwich; both these moieties came afterwards into the possession of Mrs. Jane Hawker, widow of John above-mentioned, Mr. Paramor's niece. She remarried John Dilnot, esq. of Sandwich, who survived her, and by marriage settlements continued possessed of this estate, which he afterwards, by the description of the scite of the manor of Chamberlain's fee, with certain lands, and a portion of the great tithes arising from certain lands within this parish, alienated to Mr. John May, gent. of Deal, who is the present proprietor of it.

The north part of Deal town, from Chapel-lane, is for the most part built upon the waste of this manor.

A court leet and court baron is held for this manor, the whole fee of which is within this parish. A borsholder is chosen at the court of it, whose jurisdiction extends over this manor.

THE MANORS OF COURT-ASH and DEAL PREBEND, are two manors situated within this parish; both which were in early times part of the possessions likewise of the canons of St. Martin's priory, in Dover, under the general title of whose lands they are thus entered in the survey of Domesday:

In Cornelai hundred. In Addelam, Anschitil the archdeacon holds one suling, and there he has in demesne two carucates with six borderers. Stigand, archbishop, held this land.

To this same Anschitill, the bishop of Baieux gave fifty acres of land at Addelam, and other fifty acres at St. Margaret, where he has one villein and half a carucate. These one hundred acres were of the prebends, as is testified. In the whole it is worth eight pounds. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, seven pounds.

And a little further: In Sibertesuualt, William of Poictiers holds half a suling and twelve acres, and in Addelam half a suling, twelve acres less, and there he has two villeins, and three borderers, with one carucate and an half. The whole is worth fifty-five shillings. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, four pounds.

And again: In Cornelai hundred—In Addelam Adelold holds three rod, and there he has three villeins, and eight borderers, with one carucate. It is and was worth separately sixty shillings. He himself held it in the time of king Edward the Confessor.

In Beusberg hundred and in Cornelai hundred.

In Addela, William, son of Tedald, holds half a suliug and half a yoke, and there he has in demesne one carucate, and two villeins, and two borderers. It is worth sixty shillings. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, forty shillings. Derine, the son of Sired, held it.

THE MANOR OF COURT-ASH was certainly included in the above description, and seems afterwards to have come into the possession of the prior and canons of St. Martin's, and to have remained with them till the final dissolution of their priory, in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. anno 1535, when it was surrendered, among the rest of their revenues, into the king's hands, who afterwards granted the priory, with all its lands and possessions, including this manor, subject nevertheless to certain exceptions therein-mentioned, to the archbishop of Canterbury, part of whose possessions it continues, the archbishop being the present owner of it. This manor has a court leet and court baron held for it, being demised with the manors of Dudmanscomb and Brandred, on a beneficial lease. The family of Hodgson, of Dover, were lessees of it for many years, from whom their interest passed by sale to Sampson Farbrace, gent. of Dover, who at his death gave it to his son, Mr. George Farbrace, the trustees of whose two children are at present entitled to the interest of this lease.

This manor extends into the parishes of Upper Deal, Lower Deal, Mongeham, Ringwold, and Walmer. It comprehends within its bounds only a small part of the town of Deal, at the north end.

BUT THE MANOR OF DEAL, alias DEAL PREBEND, included likewise in the above description in Domesday, appears not long afterwards to have become part of the revenues of the see of Canterbury, though by what means I have not discovered, and to have been appropriated to the archbishop's table, from which use it was however taken away, and granted from time to time by several archibshops to different persons, and continued so till king Edward I.'s reign, when archbishop Peckham fully restored it to the former use to which it was appropriated. (fn. 3) Since which it has conti nued part of the posiessions of that see to this time, the archbishop being entitled to the inheritance of it.

This manor, with the demesnes of it, exempted from all great tithes whatsoever, is likewise demised by the archbishop, on a beneficial lease, (the waste in Lower Deal, between the sea and the sea valley there, all advowsons of churches, and the scite of the king's buildings being excepted) to James Wyborn, esq. of Hull, in Sholdon, who has lately parted with his interest in it to Mr. William White, of Deal, the present possessor of it.

The waste of this manor comprises the greatest part of the scite of Deal town. A court for this manor is held at the court lodge, opposite the rector's house, in Upper Deal.

MOST AUTHORS have agreed in opinion, that Julius Cæsar, in his first expedition, landed somewhere near this place, after having been repulsed by the Britons, in his attempt to land at Dover.

Dr. Halley has proved in a discourse, which he published on this subject, that the cliffs, mentioned by Cæsar in his Commentaries, were those of Dover; and that the plain and open shore, which he next arrived at, was that along the downs here, where he made his landing good; some have contended that he landed to the northward of the present town of Deal, on some part of the sand downs; but there is a greater probability that the actual spot was, between where the windmill of Upper Deal now stands and Walmer castle, where there are remains of intrenchments still visible.

On the fourth night, after Cæsar's arrival, a great storm having damaged and destroyed many of his ships of burthen, and filled the gallies, which were drawn on shore, with the tide; he caused the remains of his fleet, with great toil and labour, to be hauled further up the shore on dry land, and inclosed it with his camp, within the same fortification.

Where this naval camp was, can only be conjectured. Some have supposed it to have been on the same spot where the southern part of the town of Deal now stands; whilst others think, that the cut, now called the Old Haven, mid-way on the sand-downs between Deal and Sandwich, is the place where Cæsar secured his shattered fleet; and at this time, upon the shore about Deal, Sandown, and Walmer, is a long range of heaps of earth, where Camden, Lambarde, Dr. Plot, and some others, suppose this ship camp to have been, and which the former says, in his time was called by the people Rome's work, that is, the work of the Romans; whilst others will have it, that they are only sand hills, brought together by the force of the weather. (fn. 4)

Next year, when Cæsar made a second expedition hither, he most probably landed at or not far from the same place he had done the year before; so that in whatever particular spot this naval camp, or where he landed, was, it was all the same as to his route from hence afterwards; for as he could not cross the great marshes to Great Mongeham, Norborne, or Ham, he must necessarily march to Upper Deal mill and Ripple, in pursuit of the enemy, and accordingly from thence by Little Mongeham, Sutton, Maimage, Barville, Eythorne, Barston, and Snowdowne, to his main camp on Barham downs, along all which route there is a continued course of Roman works and intrenchments, and tumuli, mounts or barrows, most of which are taken notice of in the description of those parishes, and of Barham Downs in particular.

But after Cæsar's taking his final departure from Britain, nothing further occurs relating to this place, the Romans afterwards constantly using the port of Richborough upon all occasions, when they sailed to this part of the coast, till the time of their wholly abandon ing this island; and the haven of Sandwich, after that, on the decay of the port of the port of Richborough, in great measure succeeding to it.

During all this time, the spot where great part of the town of Lower Deal now stands, was an open plain, and the only village here, was that now called Upper Deal, which was composed of the habitations of a few poor fishermen only, though at a less distance from the sea than at present, owing to the great increase of beach thrown on this shore afterwards. Leland, who wrote in king Henry VIII.'s time, seems to confirm this, for in his Itinerary, (fn. 5) he says, "Deale half a myle fro the shore of the sea, a Finsheher village iii myles or more above Sandwic, is upon a flat shore, and very open to these, wher is a fosse or a great bank artificial betwixt the town and se, and beginnith about Deale and renneth a great way up toward S. Margarets Clyse, yn as much that sum suppose that this is the place where Cæsar landed in aperto Litore. Surely the fosse was made to kepe owt ennemyes ther or to defend the rage of the se, or I think rather the casting up beche or pible."

Even so late as the year 1624, a house, now belonging to John Carter, esq. on the west side of the Lowerstreet, (the furthest at this time from the sea shore) is described in a deed of that date to abut ad le sea bank versus orientem. And further, in a chancery suit, in 1663, a witness, of the age of seventy two, deposed, that he well knew the valley of Deal, and that for sixty years past, and before any house was built in that valley, which was certainly where the Lower-street of Deal now is.

But when Sandwich haven likewise decayed, and the royal navy of England increased, as well in number as largeness of ships, and the trade of Britain likewise, the channel called the Downs, opposite to Deal, as the only safe and commodious road in these parts, became the general refort and rendezvous, not only of the men of war but of the trading ships, as well of our own as other nations, sailing from and towards the river Thames, and the metropolis of England.

This of course brought hither a continual supply of the stores necessary for the shipping, and quantities of provisions. It occasioned a great refort of sea faring people, passengers, and others, on their account, so that a new town arose along the shore, which, in opposition to the more antient village, since called Upper Deal, acquired the name of the town of New, alias Lower Deal.

THE PARISH OF DEAL, so early as the year 1229, anno 14 Henry III. appears to have been esteemed within the liberty of the cinque ports, and annexed as a member of the port of Sandwich, and it was expressed to have been so in the general charters of the cinque ports time out of mind; nevertheless, in king Henry VI.'s time, there arose disputes concerning the assessing it to the general subsidy of the county at large upon which that king, as a mark of his favour to so thriving a town, determined the dispute by again annexing and confirming it by his letters patent, in his 16th year, to the jurisdiction of the cinque ports. (fn. 6)

The borough of Deal was at that time governed by a deputy and assistants, nominated by the inhabitants of it, and appointed by the mayor and jurats of Sandwich, and it continued so till king William III.'s reign, when violent disputes arose between the inhabitants of Deal and the corporation of Sandwich, which in great measure originated from the former having grown wealthy by the resort of shipping to the Downs, in the wars of the preceding fifty years. They began to feel the inconvenience of resorting to Sandwich upon every tri fling occasion for justice, which was heightened still more by their own importance. This produced a restlessness and impatience to cavil on every occasion, and they seized the opportunity of the mayor of Sandwich's having too violently pressed for a market, pursuant to the lords justices reviving an old statute for the payment of toll, &c. as the ground of petitioning for an exclusive charter of corporation, to render them independent of Sandwich; which, after much solicitation, a strenuous opposition being made to it by the latter, they at last obtained, in the year 1699, anno II king William III.

By this charter, it was made a free town and borough of itself, and a body corporate and politic; and now by it consists of a mayor, twelve jurats, and a commonalty of twenty-four common-council, or freemen, together with a recorder and town clerk, two sergeantsat-mace, bearing silver maces, a clerk of the market, and other inferior officers. The mayor, who is coroner by virtue of his office, is elected annually on the first Tuesday in August. Those of the jurats, who are justices within this liberty, are so, exclusive of the justices of the county of Kent, and hold a court of general sessions of the peace and gaol delivery, together with a court of record. The corporation has liberty to purchase and possess lands in mortmain, of the clear yearly value of one hundred pounds, and it has other privileges, mostly the same as other corporations within the liberties of the cinque ports.

THE TOWN OF DEAL stands close to the sea-shore, which is a bold open beach. It is built, like most other sea-faring towns, very unequal and irregular; and consists of three principal streets, parallel, with the sea, which no doubt once flowed still farther into the country than at present, the town standing mostly on beach pebble, with which the surface is covered for some space round it; and when the wind blows a storm towards the shore, the street next the sea, called Beach street, seems frequently threatened with immediate destruction from its violence. The town is very populous, consisting of near three thousand souls, the inhabitants being, for the most part, either sea faring, concerned in the business of the shipping, or the respective offices under government; and in the time of war, when the fleets of the royal navy and the East and West-India fleets lie in the Downs, this place is remarkably full of bustle and trade. The wealth of it was much greater a few years ago than at present; the great contraband commerce, formerly carried on here, having been in a great measure annihilated by the restraining acts lately passed, though there is still some traffic carried on in this way.

Besides the private yards here for the building of vessels and boats, there is a king's naval officer, with storehouses and quantity of stores, for the supply of the navy; and here are agents for the East-India company and Dutch admiralty, constantly resident. Here is an office of the customs, under a collector, comptroller, surveyor, and other inferior officers; and here are in waiting constantly a number of skilful pilots, usually called Deal pilots, belonging to that corporation of them mentioned before, under Dover. (fn. 7) These pilots, like those of Dover, are divided into two classes, called the Upper and Lower Book; the former consisting of twenty-four, and the latter of twenty-five; these are appointed for the safe direction and guidance of ships into port, and up the rivers Thames and Medway.

There is a market held in Deal on a Tuesday and Saturday, weekly, by the above-mentioned charter; but vegetables are very scarce here, being mostly brought from Sandwich; and a fair likewise twice in each year, now by the alteration of the stile on the 5th and 6th of April, and on the 11th and 12th of October, for cattle, goods, and merchandizes, with a court of Piepowder during these markets and fairs.

The air of Deal is exceeding healthy, on which account numbers resort to it in summer, as well for pleasure as for the benefit of bathing, for which purpose there have been of late proper accomodations made; and an act having passed, anno 31 king George III. for paving, lighting, and otherwise improving this town, it will probably soon equal at least those towns in this neighbourhood, which have had the benefit of the like acts.

King Henry VIII. in the year 1539, built for the defence of this coast, three several casiles, not far from each other, at Walmer, Deal, and Sandown; each having four round lunettes of very thick stone arched work, with many large port-holes. In the middle is a great round tower, with a cistern on the top of it, and underneath an arched cavern, bomb proof; the whole is encompassed by a fosse, over which is a drawbridge. Before these three castles were built, there were between Deal and Walmer castle, two eminences of earth, called the Great and Little Bulwark; and another, between the north end of Deal and Sandown castle, (all which are now remaining;) and there was probably one about the middle of the town, and others on the spots where the castles were erected. They had embrasure for guns, and together formed a desensive line of batteries along that part of the coast, when there was deep water, and where ships of war could approach the shore to cover the disembarking of an enemy's army. Soon after the building of the above castles, the lady Anne Cleve landed here, on her intended marriage with king Henry VIII. These, together with others built in this county and in Sussex, with the captains of them, were put under the government of the lord warden of the cinque ports, by the act of 32 Henry VIII. There are handsome apartments fitted up for the resi dence of a family in Deal castle, which stands almost close to the south end of the town.

The right hon. George Augustus, earl of Guildford, is the present captain of Deal castle, and George Stringer is lieutenant under him.

SANDOWNE CASTLE, which stands about half a mile from the opposite, or north end of the town, has lately been made barely habitable.

The present captain of this castle is J. Robinson, esq. and John Bray, jun is lieutenant under him.

Colone John Hutchinson, member for Nottingham in the long parliament, and continuing in it till the restoration of king Charles II. and governor of Nottingham castle, died in Sandowne castle, after eleven months imprisonment, without any accusation brought forward against him in 1663. Since the commencement of the present war, among other precautions for the desence of this part of the coast, two additional forts have been built between Sandowne castle and the mouth of Sandwich haven. A telegraph has been erected here, which corresponds with one at Betshanger. Three signal houses have been built, one at St. Peter's, in Thanet; another near the South Foreland, and another near Dover castle; and near this town, though in Walmer parish, there have been erected barracks both for the infantry and cavalry, and royal military and naval hospitals.

The town of Deal became so populous in queen Anne's reign, that the inhabitants petitioned to have a chapel of ease for divine service, for which an act was obtained in the 9th year of that reign; it was dedicated to St. George the Martyr, and consecrated, together with the cemetery adjoining, by archbishop Wake, in 1716, who gave 100l. towards it, and several contributions were added by the inhabitants and neighbouring gentry towards it.

By the act, the chapel-wardens were enabled to raise 100l. per annum, by a duty, on Waterborne coals, brought into this town, for the maintenance of a chaplain, to be nominated by the archbishop, who was patron of the mother church. The whole expence of building of it was 2554l. and upwards. The duty on coals ceased in 1727; the annual average of coals brought in is about 3000 chaldrons. By this act the minister is to reside at least ten months in the year.—Philip Brandon, A. M. collated July 5, 1786, is the present chaplain of it.

There is in this town a handsome meeting-house, between which and the street, is a piece of ground on each side of the walk up to the house, which is used as a burial-place, having many grave and head-stones erected in it.

There was a licence granted, anno 4 James II. to Edward Burdett, for the building of a conduit-head in New Deal.

In the 12th and 13th years of king William III. an act passed for furnishing the town of Deal with water, for which purpose there is a building for raising fresh water, to be supplied from the north stream, erected at a small distance from the north end of the town. In the year 1786, anno 26 George III. an act passed to establish a Court of Requests here, for the recovery of small debts in this town, and the several adjacent parishes mentioned therein.

ABOUT A MILE westward from the town of Deal, is THE VILLAGE OF UPPER DEAL, the antient village of this parish, and the only one within it, as appears by Leland, in king Henry VIII.'s time. In it is situated the church, and close to it the parsonage-house, and on the other side of it a good house, now the residence of Capt. Pointer. The country round the village is sine, open, and uninclosed, and being high ground, has a beautiful view of the adjacent country, and the Downs.

There was an earthquake in England, in the year 1692. which was much more violent towards the sea than further from it; there were, indeed, no houses thrown down by it, nor persons killed; it reached more particularly Sandwich, Deal, Dover, Sheerness, and Portsmouth, and the maritime parts of Holland, Flanders, and Normandy; the walls of Deal castle, which are of an extraordinary thickness, shook so much, that the persons living in it expected they would have fallen on their heads.

A water-spout was observed in the Downs here in March, 1701; which in our northern climate at that time of year, and during weather both cold and windy, was thought very unusual.

THE CHANNEL of the sea, adjoining to this shore, is called THE DOWNS. It is noted for being a safe and commodious road for the greatest fleets of ships, and of the largest size. It is about eight miles in length, and about six wide, and is not unfrequently so filled with men of war, and with merchant ships of our own as well as of other nations, which rendezvous here, both on their arrival and going out again, that it appears at times almost entirely covered with them.

Though the Downs are esteemed a safe road for shipping, yet at a high wind from the westward of the south, it is far otherwise, that wind blowing direct on the Goodwin Sands; a particular instance of which, the most fatal that ever happened to the royal navy of Britain, occurred in the year 1702, in which, on November 26, a most dreadful and tremendous storm began about eleven o'clock in the evening, and continued with the wind at west-south west till seven next morning, during which thirteen men of war were lost, of which, the Restoration and Stirling Castle, third rates; the Mary, a fourth rate, and the Mortar bomb were lost on the Goodwin Sands, with the greatest part of their crews; seventy men only being saved from the Stirling Castle, and one from the Mary, in which latter rearadmiral Basil Beaumont himself perished.

In 1699, Sept. 9, the Carlisle, a fourth rate, one of Sir George Rooke's squadron, blew up in the Downs, and one hundred and thirty men perished.

Prince Charles, afterwards king Charles II. came into the Downs, in August 1648, with a considerable fleet, and whilst he lay there, he attacked, on the 15th of that month, the town of Deal, and the forces under Colonel Rich, intrenched there for its defence; but his force was soon put into disorder and entirely routed, with considerable loss.

ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE of this channel, in a parallel line with Deal, are THE GOODWIN SANDS, concerning the origin of which, there are various opinions among the learned, some affirming them to have been an island, called Lomea, once the estate of earl Goodwin, whence they took their name, and to have been destroyed by the sea in 1097; whilst others, with a greater probability of truth, suppose them to have been occasioned by that inundation of the sea, about the time of king William Rufus or Henry I. which was so great and violent, as to drown a great part of Flanders and the Low Countries, before which, this shelf or sand was only a kind of shallow, lying between the English and Flemish coasts, and was so far covered with water, as never to lie dry, but had so high a sea running over it, as never in the least to endanger the failing over it, the same as in the channel elsewhere; but so much of the water between the two shores having flowed beyond its ordinary bounds, and gained so much more room over those parts, the sea usually losing in one place what it gains in another, this shelf or sand, for want of that sufficiency of water which before entirely covered it, became so near the surface of it, as when it was low, to appear part of it dry, and to admit of people's landing on it. As to the name of this sand, no one seems to know whence it arose, though some, who contend for its existence in earl Goodwin's time, suppose it originated from some part of his ships having been wrecked on them, or at least first discovered by some of them. However that be, it serves to distinguish it from the many other sands hereabouts. As to the Goodwin Sand, it is much the largest of them all, and is divided into two parts, though the channel or swatch between them is not navigable, except by small boats. The length of both of them, from the south sand-head over against Walmer castle, to the north sand-head over against the North Foreland, is near ten miles, and the breadth nearly two. This sand consists of a more soft, fluid, porous, spongious, and yet withal tenacious matter, than the neighbouring sands, and consequently is of a more voracious and ingurgitating property; so that should a ship of the largest size strike on it, in a few days it would be so wholly swallowed up by these quicksands, that no part of it would be left to be seen; and this is what makes the striking on it so much more dreadfully dangerous than on any of the neighbouring ones, which are of a much more hard and solid nature. (fn. 8) Notwithstanding this, several ships, which have had the misfortune to run on these sands, have been got off, though this has been but seldom. A singular instance of this was in 1690, when the Vanguard, a man of war of 90 guns, having been driven on shore on them, was, by the assiduity and dexterity of the Deal men, safely got off without any material damage.

When the water is off, these sands become exceeding hard and firm, insomuch that many land, and stay hours on them for pleasure in summer; but when the tide begins to cover them, they become soft, and soon float to and from with the waves, and when they retire settle the same as before. The redness they occasion on the water is plainly discovered from the the town of Deal and its neighbouring shore.

Misfortunes happen so frequently on these sands, that the wrecks become a valuable prey to the Deal boatsmen, who keep a constant look-out for them; but though they look upon the wreck as their constant property, yet it must be owned, to their praise, that they hazard the most imminent danger of their own to preserve the lives of the unfortunate shipwrecked crews, who otherwise must inevitably perish. Notwithstanding this terrifying prospect of destruction, foreign vessels, especially the Dutch, through parsimony, to save the dues payable to the Trinity-house, from all ships passing through the Downs, frequently make their passage along the channel, on the other side or back of the Goodwins, and frequently are lost on them in the attempt.

To prevent as far as possible such continued catastrophes on these sands, the Corporation of the Trinityhouse, a few years ago, formed a design to erect a light-house on them, and sent down several experienced engineers to try the possibility of it, but after penetrating with their boring-augurs to a very great depth, the suction was so great as to prevent any discovery of what it underneath consisted of; but from the easy penetration they were convinced that the same glutinous and spongy materials continued invariable as far as they could reach with their instruments, and as they judged it impracticable, the design was wholly given over. But for the safety of navigation a floating light has been placed at the back of the north sand head.

Notwithstanding the dangers that arise from these Goodwin Sands, it is they which constitute the Downs to be a road for ships. At low water these sands may be considered as a pier or break-water in all the easterly winds; and even at high water it is too shallow over them to admit the great seas to pass without being much broken and dispersed, especially in stormy weather. From the situation, therefore, of the Downs, with those sands on one side, and the coast of Kent on the other, it is only the southerly winds that can annoy them, which are much moderated by the proximity of the coast of France, and still more so by the first part of the flood-tide running southward and meeting the seas; it is therefore not till the tide turns to the north, (which is at or about quarter flood) that the combined force of wind and tide make the great effort to break the ships from their moorings.

A very extraordinary piece of old ordnance was dragged out of the sea in 1775, near the Goodwin sands, by some fishermen, who were sweeping for anchors in the Gull-stream. From some of the ornaments, it may fairly be judged to have been cast probably about the year 1370, which is not long after the very first introduction of these formidable instruments of war into Europe. It was seven feet ten inches long, and though of so large a size, was manifestly used as a swivel-gun, and was so contrived, as to be loaded not at the mouth, but (like a screw barrel pistol) at the breach, by putting the powder and ball into the chamber, and then closing it up. From the situation, however, of its trunnions and fulcrum, it must have been extremely difficult to traverse, and the charging it must have been a very tedious operation, full as troublesome as the piece itself was unweildy. (fn. 9)

THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL SCARCE PLANTS observed in this parish and its neighbourhood, by the botanists, (fn. 10) among which the more rare ones are,

Fucus spongiosus nodosus, sea ragged staff; betwixt Deal and Sandwich. (fn. 11)

Fucus Dealensis pedicularis rubrifolio. (fn. 12)

Rhamnoides fructifera foliis satiris, baccis leviter slavescentibus, fallow thorn, or sea buckthorn; on the sandy grounds near Deal and Sandwich. (fn. 13)

Silene conoidea, narrow-leaved campion.

Salix arenaria, sand willow; on the sand-downs near Deal. (fn. 14)

Hippophæ rhamnoides, sea buckthorn, or sallow thorn; near Sandown castle. (fn. 15)

Dianthus cariophyllus, clove pink gilliflower; at Deal and Sandown castles, plentifully. (fn. 16)

Geranium maritinum, sea-crane's bill; on the sanddowns. (fn. 17)

Hottonia palustris, water violet, or gilliflower; in dikes near Deal. (fn. 18)

Brassica oleracca, sea cabbage; on the cliffs between Deal and Dover. (fn. 19)



RICHARD RUSSELL, by will in 1568, (confirmed by deed in 1675) gave the third part of a house and land at Foulmet, in Sholdon, to the poor of Deal, now vested in Thomas Bayley, mariner, of Deal, and is of the annual produce of 10s.

NICHOLAS JONES, gent. of Deal, by will in 1623, gave one small tenement, to the use of the poor of this parish.

SAMUEL FASHAM, esq. by will in 1729, gave 50l. to be placed out at interest, to be laid out in bread on New Year's day, for the benefit of the poor of this parish; which is vested in the mayor and jurats. N. B. The annual produce is not now paid, nor can it be discovered when it ceased.

MRS. JOHANNA RASHAM, by will in 1730, gave 20l. to be placed out at interest, to be laid out in bread, to be distributed among the poor of this parish upon Candlemas day, which money was vested in trustees. N. B. This produce has not been paid or laid out in bread, since the death of Bethell Dawes, esq. in whom the original trust was vested.

MR. JOHN HOCKLEY, surgeon, by will in 1735, gave to trustees the annual sum of 2l. 10s. of which sum, 30s. to be distributed on Good Friday, either in bread or money, among 20 poor widows, who do not receive alms, and 20s. to be paid to the chaplain or curate of Deal chapel, for a sermon, and administering the sacrament on that day, and in default thereof, the whole to be distributed among the poor widows; to be paid out of Flower Marsh, in this parish.

THE REV. JOHN JAMES, rector of Deal, by deed in 1775, gave 94l. 4s. 6d. stock in Old South-Sea annuities, the interest, after deducting the necessary charges, to be distributed annuary on Nov. 17, at the rate of 2s. 6d. each, among such poor inhabitants of this parish, not receiving alms, as the rector should think proper; which stock is vested in the rector of Deal for the time being, and is of the annual produce of 2l. 12s. 8d.

BETHEL DAWES, esq. by will in 1775, gave 80l. stock in the 3 per cent. Old South-Sea annuities, the clear yearly dividends to be applied to buy bread, to be given by the mayor and jurats to the poor of the town every Easter Monday yearly, in such proportions as they should think proper; which stock is now of the annual produce of 2l. 8s.

STEPHEN COLT, of Surat, in the East-Indies, by will, gave 50l. towards purchasing a house for the use of the corporation and of the poor of this parish. Part of the house purchased by his benefaction, is now made use of as the court-hall, and the mayor for the time being always paid a rent for it, which used to be applied to the use of the poor; but this has been dropped for many years.

The poor constantly maintained are about 133, casually 31. There is a workhouse, in which there are constantly about fortyeight persons.

THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sandwich.

The church, which is exempt from the archdeacon, is dedicated to St. Leonard. It is a handsome large building, having a tower steeple at the west end, with a small wooden cupola or turret at the top. In the church there is a brass plate against the wall for Thomas Boys, esq. of Fredville, in Nonington, who attended king Henry VIII. at the siege of Bologne, and died in 1560.

In the middle space of this church is a tomb, called the Coppin tomb, erected by that family, who lie buried underneath it.

The advowson of this church was antiently appurtenant to the prebend in this parish, which was part of the possessions of the priory of St. Martin in Dover, (fn. 20) on the dissolution of which, in the 27th year of that reign, it came into the hands of the crown, and it was, I suppose, granted with the scite and other possessions of the priory, afterwards to the archbishop and his successors, in whom this advowson has ever since continued. the archbishop being the present patron of it.

This church is a rectory, and is valued in the king's books at 19l. 10s. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 19s. In 1578 here were three hundred and forty-eight communicants, and it was valued at one hundred and twenty pounds. In 1640 here were five hundred communicants, and it was valued at only one hundred pounds.

The rector is entitled to about a third part only of the great tithes of this parish. The other two thirds belonging to the two portions of tithes, belong to the archbishop and earl Cowper, as before-mentioned.

All the lands in Deal, except those comprized in the leases of Deal prebend and Chamberlain's fee, pay tithes to the rector. The demesnes of the manor of Deal prebend, in Deal, are demised by the archbishop, free from all great tithes. Earl Cowper is entitled to the great tithes of the manor of Chamberlain's fee, within the parish of Deal, being an estate in fee; but the tenants in the town of Deal pay no tithes to earl Cowper.

That part of the great tithes, belonging to the archbishop, was for many years demised on a beneficial lease to the rector; but in the time of Henry Gerard, rector, in queen Anne's reign, the lease was suffered to run out, and was never renewed.

Church of Deal.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. Edmund Ibbut, S.T.B. induct. sept. 1662, obt. 1677.
Henry Gerard, A.M.inducted October, 1677, obt. 1710. (fn. 21)
William Colnett, S.T.P. Feb. 19, 1711, resigned 1717.
Robert Lightfoot, B D. Jan. 26, 1717, obt. Nov. 1726.
Herbert Randolph, A.M. Nov. 26, 1726, resigned February, 1730. (fn. 22)
William Geekie, A.M. Feb. 1730, resigned 1753. (fn. 23)
John Herring, A.M. 1753, resigned 1755. (fn. 24)
John James, A.M.1755,obt. Nov. 26, 1775.
John Backhouse, S.T.P.Jan. 1776, obt. Sept. 28, 1788. (fn. 25)
Edward Beckingham Benson, A.M. 1788, obt July 10, 1795. (fn. 26)
J. H. Backhouse,M.A. 1795, the present rector.


  • 1. Nennius says, C æsar ad Dola bellum pugnavit. Baxter thinks that this place was antiently so called from the crookedness of the shore; Dol being the same in the British, as [Dolos] in the Greek.
  • 2. Dec, Script. col. 2015 to 2018, See vol. v. p. 421.
  • 3. Tower Rolls, pat. 18 Edward I. m. 38. See Prynne, p. 423.
  • 4. Camden's Brit. p. 248. See vol. i. of this history.
  • 5. See vol. vii. of this history, p. 125.
  • 6. See Boys's Coll. for Sandwich, p. 824. Jeakc's Charters, p. 25, 120, 122, 126.
  • 7. See an account of this corporation of pilots under Dover, vol. ix.
  • 8. See Somner's Roman Ports, p. 20 et seq. Lewis's Thanet, p. 168.
  • 9. See an account of it printed in the Archæologia, vol. v. p. 147, where an engraving of it is given.
  • 10. See Merrett's Pinax, p.11, 33, 59, 66, 67, 80. Raii Synopsis, p. 49, 332, 341. Jacob's Plantæ Fav. p. 6. Gough's Camden, p.60.
  • 11. Merrett's Pinax, p. 40.
  • 12. Ibid p. 48.
  • 13. Raii Synop. p. 445.
  • 14. Jacob's Plantæ Fav. p. 100.
  • 15. Ibid. p. 96.
  • 16. Gough's Camden.
  • 17. Jacob's Plantæ Fav. p. 42.
  • 18. Ibid. p. 47.
  • 19. Ibid. p. 15.
  • 20. See Leland's Itinerary, vol. vi. p.6.
  • 21. And vicar of Lid by dispensation, as was his successor, and a six preacher of the cathedral of Canterbury.
  • 22. He resigned this rectory for that of Woodchurch, of which he died rector in 1755, and was buried in Canterbury cathedral.
  • 23. He at times held the rectories of Woodchurch, Chevening, and Southfleet, which last he held at the time of his death in 1757, being then likewise archdcacon of Gloucelter and prebendary of Canterbury, in which cathedral he lies buried.
  • 24. Afterwards rector of Mongeham.
  • 25. By dispensation rector of Ickham, archdeacon of Canterbury, and master of Eastbridge hospital. He was a good benesactor to this rectory, by new building the parsonage-house.—He lies buried in the chancel.
  • 26. Also a six preacher of Canterbury cathedral, and formerly vicar of Ixning, in Suffolk.