The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.439970, 0.192801

4 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

history of Dartford :…
"...Many Medieval buildings survive to this day. Some of these 14th and 15th century buildings are to the west of Holy Trinity Church along Bullace Lane, and at the junction of Overy Street and East Hill - The old Jolly Miller Restaurant built circa 1500..."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Dartford is the principal town in the borough of Dartford. It is situated in the northwest corner of Kent, England, 16 miles (26 km) east south-east of central London.

The town centre is situated in a valley through which the River Darent flows, and where the old road from London to Dover crossed: hence the name, from Darent + ford. Dartford became a market town in medieval times has a long history of religious, industrial and cultural importance.

The sixteenth century saw significant changes to the hitherto agricultural basis of the market in Dartford, as new industries began to take shape (see below). The priory was destroyed in 1538 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and a new manor house constructed by King Henry VIII. In 1576 Dartford Grammar School was founded, part of the Tudor emphasis on education for ordinary people.

Many Protestants were executed during the reigns of Queen Mary (1553–1554) and Philip and Mary (1554–1558), including Christopher Waid, a Dartford linen-weaver who was burnt at the stake in front of thousands of spectators on the Brent in 1555. The Martyrs Memorial on East Hill commemorates Waid and other Kentish Martyrs.

The earliest industries were those connected with agriculture, such as the brewing of traditional beers and ales. Lime-burning and chalk-mining also had their place. Fulling was another: the cleansing of wool needed a great deal of water, which the river could provide. This led to other water-based industries, using hydropower to operate machinery.

Sir John Spilman set up the first paper mill in England at Dartford in 1588 on a site near Powder Mill Lane, and soon some 600 employees worked there, providing an invaluable source of local employment. Iron-making on the Weald was in full operation at this time, and iron ingots were sent to Dartford, to England's first iron-slitting mill, set up by the Darent at Dartford Creek in 1595 by Godfrey Box, an immigrant from the Low Countries.…

Second Reading

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Some of the iron made in the Kentish Weald found its way to Dartford where, in 1590, Godfrey Box, an immigrant from Liege, set up the first slitting mill in England for cutting iron bars into rods. The engineering industry at Dartford claims a long ancestry.

Dartford was also a pioneer town in paper-making. The mill which John Spielman, a German, set up there early in the reign of Elizabeth was the second paper-mill to be opened in England.
(also see… )

The Darent provided the power to drive the mill, and also the supply of clean water that is essential for paper-making.
Spielman was given a monopoly of the making of white paper for 10 years and was authorised to ‘gather all manner of linen rags … scraps of parchment, leather shreds, clippings of cards, and old fishing nets, necessary for the making of white writing-paper’.
He employed at least 600 men, many of them Germans.

The paper-making in­dustry in Kent received a big impetus from the arrival of refugee Huguernots after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and many French terms are still employed in the industry; the large room where the paper is finished, for example, is still called the salle.

By the end of the 17th century there were several paper mills working in Kent, including a second mill at Dartford, a brown-paper mill at Canterbury, and a very small mill at Aylesford ....

EXCERPTED FROM “Industries in the 15th to 18th Centuries“ [in Kent]…

We also had exchanges about paper in general starting at…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.