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

• Five companies of Sir Brice Cochran’s Regiment, passing through Gravesend mutinied. The commanding officer escaped to a ship on the river, troops marched from town and mutineers later court martialled. Two were hung and others whipped.
• King leased Blockhouse Field (including Terrace Gardens area. See 1835).
• Commonwealth Arms taken off the Mace and replaced by the King’s Arms.
• Charles II stayed at Cobham Hall from 28th to 29th May. On 29th May the King went to Rochester and returned via Gravesend. Kent Militia lined the route.
• Samuel Pepys came to Gravesend and recorded in his diary that “a good handsome wench I kissed, the first that I have seen a great while”.

• King Charles II (at tiller of his yacht), raced against the Duke of York’s yacht from Greenwich to Gravesend and back for a wager of £100.
• Albertus, a Transylvanian prince, murdered at Gad’s Hill by two men who were convicted and hung in chains.
• Thomas Burley, Rector of Ifield, appointed as headmaster of the Free School.
• The central block of Cobham Hall rebuilt - taking 10 years to complete. (See 1768)

• Wombwell Hall, Northfleet, rebuilt by James Fortrye (whose mother had purchased it from Thomas Wombwell). (See 1745 and 1860)
• Bowling Green at west end of town hired for the use of the Mayor and Corporation on a lease of 12 years.
• Andrew Marvel, poet, sailed from Gravesend.

• Plague at Gravesend - 352 died from September 1665 to September 1666. 198 were buried at Milton.

• By an Act of Parliament the port of Gravesend was made liable to impose a tax of 1s. per chaldron on coals brought to London or the river Thames. The money was to be used for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire.
• King Charles II visited the blockhouse at Gravesend.

• Dutch vessels under Admiral de Ruyter destroyed Sheerness and demolished the Stone tower and south aisle of East Tilbury Church. Many Gravesend inhabitants left their houses and took their goods and valuables inland. Dutch accounts mention lime-kilns at Gravesend.
• Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn visited Gravesend.
• King Charles II visited Gravesend.

• “Nonsuch” with Captain Zachary Gillam sailed from Gravesend for Hudson Bay.

• Henry Child sold mansion and most of Parrock Farm to John Coosens of Cuxton.

• Divine Rites performed at Denton Church (which at this time was in ruins).
• Date Hever Court first built.
• Accusations of witchcraft made against Anne Neale of Milton. Many witnesses say that she had “several excrescences or buds on various parts of her body - one behind each ear, one on her left thigh and others elsewhere. These seemed to be used and appeared to be regularly sucked”. This is direct reference to the superstitious belief that a witches “familiars” such as black cats, toads or frogs obtained their sustenance by sucking these wart like protuberances.

• George Etkins of Gravesend made Sheriff of the County of Kent.
• Count Koningsmark arrested at Gravesend and tried for the murder of Thomas Thynn in a coach in Pall Mall, London. He was acquitted and later fled the country.

• Tilbury Fort was completed.

• Thames frozen over and a fair was held on the ice. Trees were split by frost.
• Third Charter surrendered to Charles II.

• James II granted a new Charter.

• The “Palestine”, a ship lying at Gravesend of 140 tons, with a cargo of 300 bales of cloth, was struck by lightning and burned to the waterline. The crew escaped.
• David Varchell, inhabitant of Gravesend, sworn a freeman. (See 1703)

• Duke of Grafton took possession of Tilbury Fort after Irish soldiers departed. It is alleged they seized a ship, which ran ashore at Gravesend. Later, fighting took place between Gravesend residents and some of the Irishmen, who were subdued by the residents and imprisoned in St. George’s Church.
• The Queen (Mary d’Este) arrived in a hired coach with the Prince of Wales. They embarked for Calais in a small vessel.
• James II, in flight, after the arrival of the Prince of Orange in England, arrived by barge and landed at night. He was escorted the next day to Rochester and eventually fled to France, abdicating the crown.

• Lord Preston and other conspirators against King William’s government, were seized on a vessel at Gravesend.

• King William sailed for The Hague, escorted by men-of-war.

• Many Corporation bye-laws were made. These included “Selling goods out of the market by aliens”, “Neglecting sweeping chimneys quarterly” and “Suffering hogs to go loose, unringed and unyoked”.

• Market Charter granted, establishing 2 weekly markets on a Wednesday and Saturday, and an annual fair to be held on 23rd April.
• King William and Queen Mary visited Gravesend.

• Corporation purchased Manor of Parrock from George Etkins (including the Town Hall site, Market Place, Cross Ferry and the Free School).

• James Fortrye granted lease for 500 years to William Symonds of New Tavern for 30 pounds per annum, and other property on the Milton Chantry site.
• Tilt-boat lost with 46 persons, including the parson of Hadlow, Essex.

• David Varchell died. His will provided £20 to buy a wall mounted brass decorative candlestick for St. George’s Church, also left estate towards educating 20 boys and preaching a charity sermon on the Sunday before Christmas at St. George’s and the distribution of bread and sixpences.


• Dr. Thomas Plume, Archdeacon of Rochester died and was buried in Longfield churchyard. He ordered that 26 sermons be preached annually during the summer months on a Wednesday alternately at Gravesend and Dartford.

• Ann Chapman gave 40s.annually, to be spent on bread for the poor of Gravesend, and 10s.a year for a sermon to be preached on 27th Dec.
• James Fry left an annuity of £14. 10s. 0d. to the Free school for the instruction of 4 boys from Gravesend, 4 from Milton and 2 from Chalk.
• New Mace purchased by the Corporation for £97. 17s. 6d. Original in exchange valued at £13. 7s. 6d.
• Petition presented to Parliament to have St George’s steeple restored from the funds of duties on coal brought into the Port of London, but was unsuccessful. (See also 1731)
• Gravesend - Rochester road made about this time.

• Turnpike Act allowed the road from Northfleet to Gravesend and Rochester to be turnpiked with a tollgate at Chalk, to last 13 years. (See 1724)