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MARKET TOWNS OF KENT (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Milton in 1836

Milton, sometimes distinguished as Milton next Sittingbourne, is in the hundred of Milton and in the lathe of Scray, on a creek or arm of the Swale, 39½ miles from London.

This town was a demesne of the Saxon kings, who are said to have had a palace in the neighbourhood. During the struggle of the Danish chieftain Hastings with Alfred the Great, the Danes formed an encampment here, the remains of which yet exist, under the name of Castle Rough, from its being overgrown with trees and underwood. The town was burned by Earl Godwin during his quarrel with Edward the Confessor, but rose to importance again in the time of the Conqueror. The parish comprehends 2,340 acres, and had, in 1831, a population of 2,233, of which about eighth is agricultural. The town is on the side of a hill sloping down to the creek, and is ill built. The business a place arises from its oyster fishery, and from its being the port of communication with London for the surrounding agricultural district. In the centre of the town is the ancient court-house for holding the manor courts and public meetings, with the town gaol beneath. The market is on Saturday, and there is one yearly fair. Much corn is shipped here. The church, which is to the north of the town, is chiefly in the decorated English style ; it is large and handsome, with an embattled tower at the west end. The living is a vicarage in the diocese and archdeaconry of Canterbury, of the clear yearly value of £256 with a glebe-house.

There were in the parish, in 1833, seven infant or dame schools, containing 140 children ; three day-schools, with 163 children ; one day and Sunday national school, with 150 children, partly supported by endowment ; and one Sunday-school, with 152 children.