"RAINHAM, a parish in the hundred of Milton, lathe of Scray, county Kent, 6 miles N.W. of Sittingbourne, its post town, and 4 S.E. of Chatham. It is a station on the London, Chatham, and Dover railway. It is bounded on the N. by the river Medway, which, in the reign of Elizabeth, had three quays on its banks, with 13 small vessels belonging to this port. The S. part of the parish is poor flinty land covered with wood, but the northern is a rich loam, and includes numerous marsh islands. The subsoil is chalk. A considerable portion of its surface is in hop grounds, orchards, and market gardens. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture. The village, which is large, is situated on the main London and Dover road. The Tickham hounds meet in the neighbourhood. The great tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £752, and the vicarial for one of £519 17s., while the impropriate glebe comprises 62 acres, and the vicarial 3 acres. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value £404, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to St. Margaret, is situated near the high road. It is an ancient structure, with a lofty beacon tower. The interior of the church contains a carved wooden screen, three stone sedilia, and several monuments to the Tuftons, Earls of Thanet, also brasses bearing date 1409. The register dates from 1592. The parochial charities produce about £22 per annum. There are National schools for both sexes, erected in 1846 on a site presented by the Earl of Thanet. There are places of worship for the Independents and Wesleyans. Rainham manor has belonged to the Tufton family from the reign of Henry III. Sir R. Tufton, Bart., is lord of the manor."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]