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From an early date Blackwall was a great place for ships, shipbuilding, and docks. It is often mentioned in Sir Walter Raleigh's Letters to Cecil, and is spelt indifferently Blakwale, Blakewale, and Bralkwale. Thus on May 3, 1596, he writes, "From Blakewale, reddy to go down agayne this tyde;" in the body of the letter he spells it Bralkewale. He was then toiling to organise the expedition against Cadiz, and on the following day he writes from Northfleet, "if this strong wind last I will steale to Blakewale to speak with you and to kiss your hands."
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
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