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

• Cobham estate passed to Lady Theodosia Hyde who married John Bligh in 1713. (See 1725)
• Two bells cast for St. Mary’s Church, Lower Higham

• George I arrived in Gravesend from The Hague and received the Corporation (who were the first to welcome him to England)

• Thomas Dogget, comedian and joint manager of Drury Lane Theatre, instituted a rowing race on the Thames that continues to this day. Known as Dogget’s Coat & Badge, the race is contested by watermen who have recently completed their apprenticeship and is rowed over a 41/2 mile course. (See 1882, 1993, 1997)
• Alterations to road between Northfleet and Gravesend which had been made dangerous by quarrying.

• Congregational Chapel erected in Princes Street (Protestant Dissenters’ meeting house) (See 1797, 1953)
• New tower built at St. Botolph’s Church, Northfleet. (See 1628)

• A forty foot whale caught at Gravesend.

• Population of Northfleet estimated at 800-900 inhabitants.

• Press gang from Gravesend boarded the ship “Robe” (bound for Antigua) impressed her crew and robbed some women passengers.

• Turnpike Act extending period to 15 years from 6th June 1725. (See 1737)

• John Bligh becomes 1st Earl of Darnley. (See 1713)

• Reported there were 160 houses at Milton.
• Benjamin Franklin visited Gravesend on his return to America.
• Edward Sutton, pipemaker of Gravesend, challenged James Figg to a fight at Marylebone.

• 110 houses and St. George’s Church destroyed by fire. Fund set up for relief of sufferers to which King George gave £1,000 and Queen Caroline £500. It was administered by the Duke of Dorset.
• Divine service held in the Town Hall, due to the destruction of the church.

• Three tenements for the poor built by Pinnock’s Charity trustees. (See 1838, 1897, 1937, 1951, 1960, 1992)
• Thomas Goodman convicted of robbing a woman of 10s.6d near Milton Church. He was sentenced to death but later reprieved. Constable Silver of the Swan was alleged to have plotted with Goodman to incriminate others.

• Act of Parliament for rebuilding of new St. George’s Church with a grant of £5,000 provided out of the coal dues. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Roger Meredith M.P.
• Seven houses destroyed by fire in Cross street (later called Pipe street). Spread of fire prevented by blowing up of a house.

• Artists William Hogarth and Samuel Scott visited Gravesend.
• James Oglethorpe and 100 adventurers sailed from Gravesend to settle the colony of Georgia in South Carolina.

• New Church of St. George opened.


• The Prince of Orange with his bride arrived at Gravesend. They stayed for two days at the house of Dr Holker (now the New Inn). The Prince was made a Freeman of the Borough. They embarked for Holland on 24th April.

• John Wesley visited Gravesend, before sailing to Georgia as a missionary.

• Eight bells of St. George’s made by John Applebee and Richard Phelps.
• A mansion with fifty rooms, “The Great Hermitage” built in Higham by Sir Francis Head. (See 1938)

• Bell house erected on Town Quay to signal the departures of the Tilt-boats.
• Act of Parliament limited tilt-boats to carry no more than 40 persons and the fare to London was raised from 2d. to 6d.
• Further Turnpike Act extending the period for 21 years from 6th June 1740. (See 1761)

• The old causeway repaired twice this year.

• Great frost closed the Thames to shipping from Christmas Eve until 17th February 1740.

• George II embarked for Holland on the yacht “Caroline”.
• An Assessment on the inhabitants was made, to provide the money to repair the Town Quay and set up a crane.

• John Fox a carpenter, was paid £84. 10s. 6d. for the building and repair of 72 feet of the old causeway.

• Militia called out and forts made ready for action in an invasion scare, when a French squadron sailed from Brest and proceeded up the Channel.

• Large part of old causeway, repaired just 3 years previously, destroyed by high winds.

• Wombwell Hall, Northfleet passed to Thomas Chiffinch of Hive House, who had married Mary, daughter of James Fortrye in 1692. (See 1663, 1860)

• Richard Turner, tilt-boat master, lost his boat and about 50 people were drowned.
• First decked tilt-boats used.

• Fire in Horn Yard spread to warehouse containing gunpowder, which blew up.
• Inhabitants started a subscription towards purchasing fire engines - raised £99. 18s. 6d.

• Tilt-boat sank, over 12 drowned and 6 saved.

• High Street first paved.
• A Mr Fielding involved in a collision off Gravesend complained of the boatman’s bad language.

• Two sailors from “Adventure” coming ashore at 5 in the morning, fell down cliffs at Northfleet and were killed.
• In obedience to Royal Proclamation, the corporation opened market for the sale of grain, tax free.