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"QUEENBOROUGH, a parish and post town in the Isle of Sheppey, lathe of Scray, county Kent, 2 miles S. of Sheerness, and 17 N.W. of Canterbury. It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Swale and Medway, and was anciently called Cyningburgh, from a palace of the Saxon kings. Queenborough is a decayed market town, and consists mainly of one wide street near the West Swale, which is navigable. It formerly returned two members to Parliament, but was disfranchised by the Reform Act. It was made a free borough by Edward III., who rebuilt the castle from a plan by William of Wykeham, and conferred on it its present name in honour of his queen Philippa. The castle was afterwards restored by Richard IL, Henry VIII., and Queen Elizabeth; but was finally demolished by order of the Parliament in 1650. The moat of the castle still remains, and within it is a well 271 feet in depth, which was reopened in 1725. The staple trade was formerly wool, but the inhabitants are now chiefly engaged in the lobster and oyster fisheries, the latter being let on lease. There is a copperas manufactory, which was the first established in England. The town contains a guildhall, under which is a small gaol. The property belonging to the corporation is held under trustees. The two weekly markets granted by Edward III. are now obsolete. There was anciently a hospital dedicated to St. John. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Canterbury, value £85, in the patronage of the mayor and corporation. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a neat structure, with an ancient tower at the W. end. The parochial charities produce about £51 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes, erected in 1857. A fair is held on August 5th."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]


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