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the Thames, and commanding a beautiful view of that river, and of the opposite parts of Essex. This estate belonged to the Nuns of Dartford, but becoming vested in the Crown, at the Dissolution, was granted out by Elizabeth, in her fifth year, and having passed through various families by purchase and otherwise, became, in the year. 1737, the property of John Carmichael, Earl of Hyndford, afterwards Envoy Extraordinary to the Courts of Russia and Prussia. He conveyed it, in the year 1748, to William, Wiscount Duncannon, who, on the death of his father, in 1758, became Earl of Besborough, and married Caroline, eldest daughter of William, Duke of Devonshire. This Nobleman greatly improved the Mansion and surrounding grounds; but after the death of his Lady, and several of his children here, he sold, the estate to John Calcraft, Esq. an Army Agent, who enlarged the grounds by new purchases, and materially added to the plantations which the Earl of Besborough had begun, and which are now extremely luxuriant. In an elegant summer-house, built in a hollow of the chalk cliffs, he also arranged a valuable collection of Roman Altars, brought from Italy; with statues, and other specimens of Roman sculpture, which were placed in different parts of the garden. He died in 1772, when Member of Parliament for Rochester, and was succeeded in the possession of this estate by his eldest son, John Calcraft, Esq. who sold Ingress, in the year 1788, to John Disney Roebuck, Esq. father of the present owner. The grounds are extremely beautiful, both in respect to home scenery, and to the prospects which they command: the views from the House are particularly fine. NORTHFLEET
attacked with in the torrid zone: a very beautiful species of anomia, the terebratula, is very frequent. Few or none of these fossils are to be found in our seas, in a recent state; they must be sought in the most remote waters: the echini in the Red Sea, or in the seas of the more distant India. The forms, and the very substance of the shells, are preserved through the multitudes of ages in which they have been deposited; the colour alone is discharged: some have been entirely pervaded with flint, which, subtilly entering every minute pore, assumes, with the utmost fidelity, the exact figure of the recent shell.” Pennant's Journey from London to the Isle of Wight, Vol.I. p. 54,-5.
NORTHFLEET was very anciently possessed by the See of Canterbury, but was alienated by Archbishop Cranmer, in exchange for other lands, with Henry the Eighth: it has since had some intermediate possessors, but was finally granted, by the Crown, to the late Earl of Besborough, about the year 1758, at the annual rent of six shillings and eight-pence. This Nobleman sold it, with Ingress, to John Calcraft, Esq. whose son was the late possessor.
The north-west part of this Parish is a low marsh, formerly covered by the Thames, and now crossed by a high causeway, and bridge, with flood-gates, to prevent the tides flowing beyond it, and at the same time to give issue to the freshes. The village is irregularly built round Northfleet Green, and at the sides of the high road, which passes close by a large building erected as an Inn, but from the scheme not answering, since let out in tenements. The contiguous Chalk Works employ a great number of hands, and extend from the northern side of the village to the Thames; their average width being nearly two furlongs.
The Church, which is one of the largest in the diocese, and a peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury's, is dedicated to St. Bo. tolph, and consists of a nave, aisles, and chancel, with a low tower, erected within the site of the foundation walls of the preceding one, at the beginning of the last century, and by no means correspondent with the rest of the building. The nave is separated from the aisles by octagonal massive columns, which spread off intepointed arches, without the intervention of capitals: in the chancel, which is very spacious, are remains of some ancient oak Stalls; and in the south wall, of the south aisle, are three Stone Seats. On a slab in the pavement of the chancel, is a full-length Brass figure of a Priest standing beneath a rich ornamental canopy; and round the verge of the slab, this imperfect inscription: On
* The grave beneath this stone was opened about thirty years ago, and the body of Peter de Lucy was found wrapped in leather, a mede of interment not unusual in early times.
On the south side of the chancel is a Piscina under a neatly-orna
mented pointed arch; and on a carved wooden Screen, of the time. of Queen Mary, which separates the chancel from the nave, is a range
of heads, of the Saviour and twelve Apostles, now mostly defaced. Another Piscina, with plainer ornaments, is in the north chantry:
and on a grey marble slab, raised a few inches above the pavement, are small whole-length Brasses of a Knight and his Lady,
with two escutcheons above, one of which displays the arms of Rykeld, or Rickhill, a family long seated at Eslingham, in Frindsbury Parish, viz. Gules, two bars, argent, between three annulets,
Or. The Knight is in close armour, standing on a lion, with a long sword at his left side, and a dagger at his right: his Lady is in a
long cloak, the folds elegantly disposed, with a necklace and rose,
and a small dog, collared, at her feet. The inscription is imper
fect, which renders it difficult to ascertain the persons these figures
were intended to represent; but from the costume, and other circumstances, Mr. Thorpe has assigned them to Sir WILLIAM RY
KELD, Knt. and his Lady; the former of whom was a Justice of the King's Bench in the time of Richard the Second, and died
WRitten Graves-ham in the Domesday Book, and Gravesende in the Textus Roffensis, is thought, by Lambard, to have derived its name from the Saxon word Gerefa, a Ruler, or Portreve, and to signify the end or limit of his jurisdiction;t yet, supposing the name to be correctly spelt in the Domesday Book, it will then signify, the Ham, or Dwelling of the Greve, or Reve; an etymology that seems the more probable of the two. A third, however, has been proposed, from the Saxon Graf, implying a *coppice, or small wood, which, compounded with ande, would form Graf's-ande, and thus signify the place at the Wood-end. This * These figures are engraved in the Custumale Roffense; as is that also of Peter de Lucy; and the bust of another Priest, named William Iye, which is likewise preserved in this Church.
+ Peramb, of Kent, P. 349,