A Virtual Museum - Your Town, the Borough and its History


• Dr. Harris, an author, noted that there were “only 4 gentlemen in Gravesend”. These were named as John Petyge, John Pete, William Doget and Robert Baker.

• A severe winter frost paralysed shipping on the Thames from 25th December 1434 until 5th February, causing great hardship to the watermen of Gravesend.

• Probable date of the “Christopher Inn” near the Town Quay, on the site of the present Pier Hotel.

• List of Northfleet men pardoned in Jack Cade’s rebellion. We are told they “fought lustily”.

• First mention of bridge across the River Fleet at Northfleet.

• The High Street, Gravesend was known as “King’s Way”.

• Grant of the Long Ferry renewed by Edward IV.
• Thomas Wombwell bought an estate at Northfleet.

• Wombwell Hall built by Thomas Wombwell. (See 1663)

• John Thorpe, Rector of St. George’s Church, directed by his will that he be buried in the “churchyard and his tomb be covered with marble stone”.

• St. George’s Church (built as a chapel- of- ease) licensed for services.

• Messenger sent to Gravesend by water from the Tower of London, to summon Kent physician Dr. Aylsworth to attend the Queen, Elizabeth of York, who was dangerously ill (and later died in the Tower of London).

• Parish church of St. Mary (mentioned in the Domesday Book), destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt, but later abandoned.

• St. George’s Chapel consecrated in April by Bishop Fisher (Bishop of Rochester).

• Fares charged by watermen for passengers from Gravesend to London limited by statute.

• Charges for ferrying passengers to London “with bundles” set at 2d. each.

• Higham Nunnery closed and given by the King, with the Manor, to Bishop Fisher.

• Emperor Charles V, Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey and their retinues arrived at Gravesend by road from Dover. 30 barges sailed from Gravesend for Greenwich.
• Bishop Fisher prohibited Divine Service at Gravesend because the Churchwardens had not attended or rung the bells on the occasion of his visit.

• Milton Chantry reported to be in a state of ruin.

• John Dygon, Master of Milton Chantry died. It apparently then reverted to the crown.

• “Harry Grace a Dieu” (largest warship of its day) was anchored at Northfleet costing £200 yearly in wages and even more in equipment.

• Fight off Gravesend between Flemish and French warships. (Flemish ships protecting fishing fleet in the Thames Estuary).

• Sir Christopher Morrice held Manor of Gravesend.

• “Voyage of discovery to N.W. America” set out from Gravesend at the end of April with 30 gentlemen in the “Trinitie” and the “Minion”.
• Old Cobham College voluntarily dissolved and the proceeds passed the7th Lord Cobham. (See 1362, 1596)

• Northfleet Manor, including the Chantry and the Vicarage were transferred to the King.

• Bulwarks or Blockhouses erected at Gravesend, Tilbury and Higham for the defence of the Thames against potential enemies of Henry VIII.
• First entry in the Parish Register of St. Botolph’s Church, Northfleet.

• On the death of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Milton Manor was willed to Henry VIII.

• Blockhouse Fort land given to Henry VIII by William Burston of Milton and Blockhouse Fort was built. The remains can be seen on the waterfront, opposite the Clarendon Hotel, Royal Pier Road. (See 1835, 1973, 1975)

• King Henry VIII dined at Gravesend on his way to France.
• Ruins of St. Mary’s Church, the original Parish church of Gravesend, were removed by order of Henry VIII and St. George’s then became the Parish church of Gravesend. (See 1508, 1510, 1952)

• Gravesend parish registers began at St. George’s Church.
• Henry Peyrse of Milton-next-Gravesend left a yearly bequest of 6s.8d. to the poor of Ightham and 2s.to the churchwardens.
• Richard Stevens slain at Gad’s Hill and buried in Shorne churchyard.

• Sebastian Cabot’s expedition on route to discover the NorthWest passage to China, stayed at Gravesend .
• Barge at Gravesend overturned, 14 were drowned.

• Sir Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion against the crown, spread to Gravesend from Maidstone.
• Emanuel, Prince of Piedmont and other Lords received at Gravesend and conveyed to Westminster.

• Statute placed the Fraternity of Watermen of Gravesend under the control of Overseers and Rulers, selected by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London.

• Sebastian Cabot entertained members from the “Searchthrift” expedition at the “Christopher Inn”.