Queenborough in 1836
Queenborough, or Quinborowe, is in the liberty of the isle of Sheppey, in the lathe of Scray, 45½ miles from London, by a road branching from the Dover road eight miles beyond Chatham, and leading into the Isle by King's Ferry over the West Swale. Queenborough (anciently Cyningburg) belonged to the Saxon kings, who had a castle here, on the site of which Edward III commenced a new and more extensive fortress. Edward made the town a free borough, and gave it the name of Queenborough in honour of his consort Philippa. This castle was demolished in the time of the Commonwealth, but the moat and well point out its site. The well, after being partly filled up with rubbish, was cleared out and restored to use in 1725 ; it supplies the town with water.
Queenborough is a poor place ; the greater part of the inhabitants are dependent on the oyster fishery ; a few of them possess boats of their own. The houses form one main street, the church was originally a chapel to the parish church of Minster, but is now parochial : the interior is neat. There is a guildhall and a small gaol under it. Queenborough has a corporation, and until disfranchised by the Reform Act it returned two members to parliament.
The parish had in 1831 a population of 786. The income of the corporation is derived from the oyster fishery, the management of which is in their hands. The markets, which are now disused, were held on Monday and Thursday. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese and archdeaconry of Canterbury, of the clear yearly value of £661, with a glebe-house. There were in 1833 a free-school, with 72 children, five other day schools, with about 100 children, and two Sunday-schools. with 177 children.