Kent, an important maritime county in SE. of England, bounded N. by the Thames and the North Sea, E. and SE. by the Strait of Dover, S. by the English Channel, SW. by Sussex, and W. by Surrey; greatest length, W. to E., 65 miles; greatest breadth, N. to S., 35 miles; 995,392 acres, population 977,706. The surface of the county is hilly, being traversed E. and W. by the North Downs, a chalk range from 3 to 6 miles in breadth. On the N., along the shores of the Thames and Medway, there is a belt of marsh land, which extends over a mile inland. The greater portion of the seaboard is washed by tidal water. Besides the Thames and Medway, the chief rivers are the Stour and the Darent. The soil is varied and highly cultivated, more especially in the valley of the Medway. All classes of cereals and root produce are abundant, as is also fruit of choice quality, and more hops are grown in Kent than in all the rest of England. The woods are extensive. The chief manufacture of the county is paper, most of the mills being on the banks of the Medway, Cray, and Darent. The Government works and dockyards at Woolwich, Chatham, Sheerness, &c., employ an immense number of the inhabitants. Fishing is extensively prosecuted along the coast and in the estuaries of the rivers Thames and Medway, of which the oyster beds are especially famous. Historically Kent has greater associations than any other county in England. The county contains 5 lathes, 73 hundreds, 435 parishes, and parts of 6 others, the Cinque Port Liberties of Dover, Hythe, and New Romney, the parliamentary and municipal boroughs of Canterbury, Dover, Gravesend, Hythe, Maidstone, and Rochester (1 member each), the parliamentary boroughs of Chatham, Deptford (part of), Greenwich, Lewisham, and Woolwich (1 member each), and the municipal borough of Deal, Faversham, Folkestone, Margate, Sandwich, and Tenterden. It is almost entirely in the diocese of Canterbury and Rochester. For parliamentary purposes the county is divided into 8 divisions -viz., Western or Sevenoaks, North-Western or Dartford, South-Western or Tunbridge, Mid or Medway, North-Eastern or Faversham, Eastern or St Augustine's, Southern or Ashford, and Isle of Thanet, 1 member for each division; the representation of the county was increased from 6 to 8 members in 1885.
© Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887.