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MARKET TOWNS OF KENT (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Deal in 1836

DEAL, a borough, market-town, and parish in the hundreds of Cornilo and Bewsborough, in the county of Kent, and a member of the town and port of Sandwich as a Cinque Port. It is situated close to the sea, on a bold open beach, between the north and south Forelands, eighteen miles south-east from Canterbury, and seventy-two east-south-east from London.

The number of inhabitants in 1831 was 7,268, who live for the most part in the three streets lying parallel to the beach, which, in distinction from the middle and upper parts, are called Lower Deal. By a decree of Henry III in 1229, and by letters patent of the sixteenth year of Henry IV, the town is shown to have been at that time annexed to the Cinque Ports. A charter was granted by the 11th of William III, constituting it a borough, with a corporation, consisting of a mayor, twelve jurats, 24 common council men, a town clerk, and recorder. On the south side is a strong castle, erected in 1539 with a moat and a drawbridge. There is no harbour, but the fine roadstead called the Downs, between the shore and Goodwin Sands, is a usual place of anchorage for vessels of all dimensions, of which, occasionally, four or five hundred are tiding windbound, and with safety, except during heavy gales from the north and east, when some put into Ramsgate for greater security. The pilots of Deal have a high character as intrepid and excellent seamen in affording assistance to vessels in distress.

The town is paved, lighted, and watched, and contains a custom-house, a naval storehouse, a naval and military hospital, and a gaol. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in boat-building, sail-making, and other pursuits subservient to maritime business. Besides a church and chapel of ease, there are several dissenting chapels, and a subscription school for ninety poor boys and girls.

Markets are held on Tuesday and Friday, and two small fairs in April and October. Deal is the birth-place of Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, the learned translator of Epictetus.