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Canterbury, Blean / Canterbury, Canterbury with Swale
Melvilles 1858 Directory of Kent.
CANTERBURY, A City and Count of itself,and the chief city in Kent, is delightfully situated on the river Stour. It is distant from London 84 miles by railway, and 55 by road, 16 miles by road from Dover, 20 from Margate, 16 from Ramsgate, and 14 from Ashford. The population of Canterbury, including the suburbs, is 21,541 by the last census. The parishes within the city are a union, under a Local Act
for the Relief of the Poor, but are exempt from the provisions of the new Poor Law Act as regards the election of its guardians, who are returned by the ratepayers. The city returns two members to Parliament; Sir W. M. Somerville, and H. B. Johnstone, Esqrs. are the present members. The Corporation consists of a Mayor, Sheriff, 6 Aldermen, and 18 Councillors; there are also 8 magistrates, and Quarter Sessions are held before the Recorder; there is also a County Court, and Ecclesiastical Court.
Canterbury is the See of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Primate of the English Empire and Metropolitan Patriarch of the English Church - a functionary who holds the highest rank in the empire as a peer next to the Royal Family, taking precedence of the dukes, and receiving the title of Grace and Most Reverend Father in God. He is Archbishop for England and Wales South of Trent, Bishop for East Kent, and presides over the colonial churches. The Lord Primate holds extensive and ancient estates, which bring a large revenue; and he has Ecclesiastical and Wills Courts, the chief of which is the Prerogative Court, held in London. He presides over the Houses of Convocation of bishops and procurators for the south of England. His chief residence is in his palace at Lambeth.
Canterbury has held the dignity of an Archbishop's See since King Ethelbert the
Britwald introduced Christianity into this country, upwards of 12 centuries since.
Many of these prelates have been venerated as saints, including St. Augustine I, St. Alphage, St. Dunstan, St. Anslem, and St. Thomas-a-Beeket. The city is richly
endowed with charitable benefactions, which are now administered by trustees appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The principal Market Day is on Saturday.
There are numerous fairs held in Canterbury, of which the chief are on May the 4th and October the llth, the latter being a large fair, and statute fair, and lasting a week. The population are principally employed in the cultivation of hops in the neighbourhood, which hold a high reputation. Canterbury was evidently a British town from its Romanized name of Durovernum, and may even have been of Iberian origin, In Julius Caesar's time it was held by the Belgae.
Of the Romans there are remains in St. Martins church, and the burial ground was near St Sepulchre's. It was also a great Roman city, and being captured by Hengist and the English, Frisians and Jutes, was named Cantwarabyrig, the Kentsmen's borough, now formed into Canterbury. It was besieged and sacked by the Danes more than once; but for the last 800 years has suffered few vicissitudes, except those of trade.
During the middle ages it profited very much by the pilgrims from all parts of England and Europe to the shrine of St. Thomas-a-Becket. It now exists by its ancient foundations and its traffic as the capital of East Kent, which its natural situation insures to it; and it is likewise a military station. It receives many visitors. Boyle, the great Earl of Cork; Linacre, who was physician to Henry VIII., founded the College of Physicians, and wrote a celebrated Grammar; Sumner, the antiquary and abbot; and Lord Tenterden, Lord Chief Justice, were natives of Canterbury.
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