Rochester (UK Parliament constituency)
Rochester was a parliamentary constituency in Kent. It returned two members of parliament to the House of Commons of England from 1295 to 1707 to the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1708 to 1800, to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 until the 1885 general election, when its representation was reduced to one seat. In 1918, it was split between Gillingham; the Chatham seat became Rochester and Chatham in 1950, Medway in 1983. When the boroughs of Rochester upon Medway and Gillingham merged to form the larger unitary Borough of Medway in 1998, the Parliamentary constituency of Medway only covered part of the new borough, so for the 2010 election it was renamed Rochester and Strood. Villiers resigned. Kinglake's death caused a by-election. Martin's death caused a by-election. Hughes-Hallett resigned. Davies was unseated on petition. General Election 1914/15: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected.
Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. Queens' is one of the oldest and the largest colleges of the university, founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou, has some of the most recognisable buildings in Cambridge; the college spans both sides of the river Cam, colloquially referred to as the "light side" and the "dark side", with the Mathematical Bridge connecting the two. The college's alumni include heads of government and politicians from various countries, religious leaders and Oscar nominees. Examples are Abba Eban and T. H. White, its most famous matriculant is Desiderius Erasmus, who studied at the college during his trips to England between 1506 and 1515. As of June 2016, the college held non-current assets valued at £111.18 million. The current president of the college is Labour Party adviser, Lord Eatwell. Past presidents include Saint John Fisher. Queens' College was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou and refounded in 1465 by the rival queen Elizabeth Woodville.
This dual foundation is reflected in its orthography: Queens', not Queen's, although the full name is "The Queen's College of St Margaret and St Bernard called Queens' College, in the University of Cambridge". In 1446 Andrew Dokett obtained a charter from Henry VI to found St Bernard's College, on a site now part of St Catharine's College. A year the charter was revoked and Dokett obtained a new charter from the king to found St Bernard's College on the present site of Old Court and Cloister Court. In 1448 Queen Margaret received from her husband, King Henry VI, the lands of St Bernard's College to build a new college to be called "Queen's College of St Margaret and St Bernard". On 15 April 1448, Sir John Wenlock, chamberlain to Queen Margaret, laid the foundation stone at the south-east corner of the chapel. By 1460 the library, chapel and President's Lodge were completed and the chapel licensed for service. In 1477 and 1484 Richard III made large endowments to the college and his wife, Anne Neville, became the third queen to be patroness of the college, making endowments on her own behalf, which were all taken away by Henry VII after he overthew Richard.
Between that time and the early 1600s many improvements were made and new buildings constructed, including the Walnut Tree Building, completed in 1618. Since the college has refurbished most of its old buildings and expanded. In the early seventeenth century Queens’ had become a fashionable college for the gentry and aristocracy for those with more Puritan leanings. During the English civil war the college sent all its silver to help the King; as a result, the president and the fellows were ejected from their posts. In 1660 the president was restored. In 1777, a fire in the Walnut Tree Building destroyed the upper floors, which were rebuilt 1778-82. In February 1795 the college was badly flooded waist-deep in the cloisters. In 1823, the spelling of the college's name changed from Queen's to Queens'; the earliest known record of the college boat club dates from 1831. In 1862, the St Bernard Society, the debating club of the college was founded. In 1884, the first football match was played by the college team and the St Margaret Society was founded.
In 1980, the college for the first time allowed females to matriculate as members, with the first female members of the college graduating in 1983. The arms are the paternal arms of the first foundress queen, Margaret of Anjou, daughter of Rene, Duke of Anjou, with a difference of a bordure vert for the college; the six quarters of these arms represent the six lordships. These arms are of interest because the third quarter uses or on argent, a combination which breaks the rule of tincture of "no metal on metal" in heraldry; the cross potent is a visual pun on the letters H and I, the first two letters of Hierusalem. These are not the official arms of the College, rather, a badge; the silver boar's head was the badge of Richard III. The earliest evidence of the college using a boar's head as a symbol is from 1544; the gold cross stands for St Margaret, the gold crozier for St Bernard, the two patron saints of Queens' College. There is a suggestion that the saltire arrangement of these is an allusion to Andrew Dokett, the first president of Queens'.
Today, this badge is used by college clubs, appears in connection with food or dining. Queens' College has some of the most recognisable buildings in Cambridge, it combines modern architecture in extensive gardens. It is one of only two colleges in which buildings straddle both sides of the River Cam, its two halves joined across the river by the famous Mathematical Bridge. Queens' College is located in the centre of the city, it is the second southernmost of the colleges on the banks of the River Cam on the east bank.. President's Lodge of Queens' is the oldest building on the river at Cambridge; the President's Lodge sits in Cloister Court: the Cloister walks were erected in the 1490s to connect the Old Court of 1448/9 with the riverside buildings of the 1460s, thus forming the court now known as Cloister Court. Essex Building, in the corner of the court, was erected 1756–60, is so named after its builder, James Essex the Younger, a local carpenter who had earlier erected the wooden bridge. Old Court was built between 1448 and 1451.
Stylistic matters suggest that this was designed by and built under the direction of the master mason Reginald Ely, wh
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced what, in centuries, became referred to as a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the tenants-in-chief secured Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes, save with the consent of his royal council, which developed into a parliament. Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of the English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I in 1649. After the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688, the supremacy of Parliament was a settled principle and all future English and British sovereigns were restricted to the role of constitutional monarchs with limited executive authority.
The Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Parliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliament of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Under a monarchical system of government, monarchs must consult and seek a measure of acceptance for their policies if they are to enjoy the broad cooperation of their subjects. Early kings of England had no standing army or police, so depended on the support of powerful subjects; the monarchy had agents in every part of the country. However, under the feudal system that evolved in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have been upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy; the former had economic and military power bases of their own through major ownership of land and the feudal obligations of their tenants. The Church was a law unto itself in this period as it had its own system of religious law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the senior clergy on major decisions, post-Norman Conquest English monarchs called Great Councils. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, abbots and earls, the pillars of the feudal system; when this system of consultation and consent broke down, it became impossible for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of this before the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and Henry II and between King John and the barons. Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murdered after a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the Church. John, king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many leading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215. John's refusal to adhere to this charter led to civil war; the Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England. The term came into use during the early 13th century, when it shifted from the more general meaning of "an occasion for speaking."
It first appears in official documents in the 1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson, it is believed that the early parliaments had a judicial as well as a legislative function. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings called Knights of the Shire to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in 1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to parliament to advise the king on finance. Parliaments were summoned when the king needed to raise money through taxes. After Magna Carta, this became a convention; this was due in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by his young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henry's behalf until he came of age, giving them a taste for power that they would prove unwilling to relinquish. Among other things, they made sure. Once the reign of John ended and Henry III took full control of the government, leading peers became concerned with his style of government his unwillingness to consult them on decisions he took, his seeming patronisation of his foreign relatives over his native subjects.
Henry's support of a disastrous papal invasion of Sicily was the last straw. In 1258, seven leading barons forced Henry to swear to uphold the Provisions of Oxford, the following year, by the Provisions of Westminster; this abolished the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen barons, providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their performance. Parliament assembled six times between June 1258 and April 1262, most notably at Oxford in 1258; the French-born nobleman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, emerged as the leader of this characteristically English rebellion. In the years that followed, those supporting Montfort and those supporting the king grew more hostile to each other. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1263 exempting him from his oath and both sides began to raise armies. At the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was taken prisoner by Montfort's army. However, many of the peers who had supported Montfort began to suspect that he ha
Rochester Bridge in Rochester, Medway was for centuries the lowest fixed crossing of the River Medway in South East England. There have been several generations of bridge at this spot, the current "bridge" is in fact four separate bridges: the "Old" bridge and "New" bridge carrying the A2 road, "Railway" bridge carrying the railway and the "Service" bridge carrying service pipes and cables; the bridge links the towns of Rochester in Medway. All except the railway bridge are maintained by the Rochester Bridge Trust; the Romans built a bridge across the River Medway as part of Watling Street, carrying traffic from London to Dover. This was certainly the first bridge at the site as the Romans were the first occupiers to have the necessary technology to bridge such a wide and fierce tidal river; the Roman engineers might have built a pontoon bridge to support and supply their invading armies. Victorian engineers discovered the Roman foundations when they were building the current "Old" bridge, they found that stone foundations had been used to support a wooden deck.
A wooden bridge existed in the Middle Ages since at least the year 960. In 1264, Simon de Montfort besieged the gate house and set fire to the bridge as part of his successful attempt to take Rochester. In the latter part of the 14th century the bridge consisted of nine stone piers supporting a wooden superstructure. Administratively the responsibility for bridge was divided amongst local landowners and institutions; this worked reasonably well, though sometimes those liable refused to co-operate and had goods seized. In 1311 for instance the King's bailiff, William Mot, seized a horse and five cows from the tenants of Westerham, however Richard Trewe and Hamon le Brun "rescued" the animals back and Richard "beat the said William". Despite partial rebuilding, the bridge fell into disrepair and collapses occurred with the worrying frequency of about once a year. In 1339 the bridge was down for 24 weeks the first and third piers were found to be decayed. In 1361 the bridge was in a dangerous state for 3 weeks and a boat had to be hired as a ferry.
In the winter of 1380–81 a large proportion of the bridge was carried away by the combined forces of meltwater and ice. In 1382, the bridge being impassible" a commission was appointed to enquire as to those responsible for its maintenance; the commission included John de Cobham who as supervisor of repairs ensured the bridge was passible by the following year. A stone bridge was built by Sir John de Cobham and Sir Robert Knolles, finished in 1391, it had 11 arches and a total length of 570 feet It was 14 feet wide. To ensure the maintenance of their new bridge, the two men instituted the Wardens and Commonalty of Rochester Bridge, two elected wardens were appointed with permission from Richard II to own land and use the income for the bridge; the Wardens and Commonalty received grants of land from Henry IV and Henry V, as well as money from other benefactors. The trust was able to maintain the bridge using income from property and investments, materials from woods and quarries. A scheme of improvements was completed in 1824 to the plans of the engineer Daniel Asher Alexander.
The bridge was widened and the two central arches merged into one to provide a wider channel for shipping. In 1856, when modern river traffic demanded a new structure the medieval bridge was demolished with the help of the Royal Engineers. Cubbitt's cast iron bridge was built in 1857 to replace the stone bridge; this bridge was built downstream of the stone bridge, on the alignment of the current bridge and where the Romans had built theirs. One span was designed to swing open to allow river traffic, but the mechanism was never used and was removed; the cast iron spans were below the road deck, making the bridge low and meant that passing traffic on the river had to navigate to line up with the top of the arch or risk striking the bridge. Not every ship was successful and many collisions occurred; these took their toll on the bridge and an inspection in 1909 showed fractured ribs and missing bolts. After a short life a new bridge was needed. From around 1908 the bridge carried the tracks for the local tram system linking Strood and Frindsbury with Rochester, Chatham and Rainham.
The cast iron bridge was reconstructed at a cost of £95,887. The bridge opened for traffic on 14 May 1914 with new features to allow more clearance for the many boats that had to pass under it; the supporting arched trusses were built further apart and above the road deck. Trams continued to use the bridge until the tram system was abandoned in 1930 and superseded by buses. In 1970 a second road bridge was opened next to the first, to increase capacity; the old bridge underwent major maintenance and complete refurbishment, completed in November 2006, to extend the lifespan another 30 years. As for all the work to the bridges, this was paid for by the Rochester Bridge Trust with the proceeds from the original endowments and was carried out at no cost to the public taxpayer. National Cycle Route 1 passes over the road bridges. There are four extant bridges, the Roman bridge, the Mediaeval bridge, built 40m upstream, the first railway bridge; the Roman Bridge was builr circa AD 43 on the instructions of the Emperor Claudius.
The flat bridge deck was supported on nine stone piers set on iren tipped oak timbers piled deep into the riverbed. To achieve this, a coffer dam of a two concentric circles of shallow piling was driven into the riverbed; the circles were packed with clay, th
Joseph Williamson (politician)
See Joseph Williamson for the Joseph Williamson famous for creating pointless tunnels in Liverpool Sir Joseph Williamson, PRS was an English civil servant and politician who sat in the House of Commons of England variously between 1665 and 1701 and in the Irish House of Commons between 1692 and 1699. He was Secretary of State for the Northern Department 1674–79. Williamson was born at Bridekirk, near Cockermouth in Cumberland, where his father called Joseph, was vicar, his father died when he was young, his mother remarried the Reverend John Ardery. His humble origins were referred to unkindly in life by his enemies after he married into the aristocracy, he was educated at St. Bees School, Westminster School and Queen's College, Oxford, of which he became a fellow. In 1660 he entered the service of the Secretary of State for the Southern Department, Sir Edward Nicholas, retaining his position under the succeeding secretary, Sir Henry Bennet, afterwards Earl of Arlington, he made himself indispensable to Arlington, due to his enormous capacity for hard work, which resulted in his employer delegating most the routine work of the department to him.
He was involved with the foundation of the London Gazette in 1665. Williamson was elected Member of Parliament for Thetford in 1669 and held the seat until 1685. No less than three previous attempts to enter Parliament had been unsuccessful, due to an increasing "backlash" against Government candidates. Samuel Pepys in his celebrated Diary records that when Williamson appeared at the hustings in 1666, he was shouted down by cries of "No courtiers!" In 1672 he was knighted. During the Third Anglo-Dutch War, he drew up plans for the Zealand Expedition, intended to land a newly formed English Army in the Netherlands; the strategy was abandoned after the naval defeat at the Battle of Texel and the Treaty of Westminster which ended the war. In 1673 and 1674 he represented his country at the Congress of Cologne, in the latter year he became Secretary of State for the Northern Department, having purchased this position from Arlington for £6,000, a sum that he required from his successor when he left office in 1679.
He served as Master of The Clothworkers' Company in 1676–77. In 1677, he became the second President of the Royal Society, but his main interests, after politics, were in antiquarian rather than in scientific matters; as Secretary of State he continued Arlington's policy of friendship towards France, hostility towards the Netherlands. William III of Orange developed a deep aversion to Williamson: apart from their opposing policies he is said to have found the tone of Williamson's dispatches unbearably offensive. Just before his removal from the post of Secretary of State, he was arrested on a charge of being implicated in the Popish Plot, but he was at once released by order of Charles II. Williamson was a particular target of the informers because he was one of the few Ministers who disbelieved in the Plot: when Israel Tonge first approached him with "information", who believed, with some reason, that Tonge was insane, gave him a "rude repulse"; as for the other informers, several of whom were members of London's criminal underworld, his efficient intelligence service no doubt told him everything necessary about their characters.
For this reason, the King, sceptical about the Plot's reality, wished to retain his services, at least in the short term. The actual charge made against Williamson, of commissioning Roman Catholic army officers, was spurious since these officers were intended for foreign service. Williamson's nerve began to give way under the strain of the Plot, he became a political liability. Charles dismissed him after he gave orders to search Somerset House, the Queen's official residence, without the King's permission. I do not wish to be served by a man who fears anyone more than me". Danby was suspected by many of having a part in Williamson's downfall, as he was said to have taken offence at Williamson's recent marriage to Lady Clifton, a wealthy widow and cousin of the King, his marriage, at the beginning of the Popish Plot, should on the face of it have strengthened him politically: his wife was Katherine Stewart, Baroness Clifton, daughter of George Stewart, 9th Seigneur d'Aubigny, sister of Charles Stewart, 3rd Duke of Richmond, of a junior branch of the Stuart dynasty.
Her first husband, by whom she had several children, was Henry O'Brien, Lord Ibrackan, an old friend of Williamson. Despite the obvious advantages of the match, John Evelyn reported that it was unpopular, it weakened Williamson politically. Since Katherine as well as her first husband was an old friend of Williamson she was not a surprising choice as a bride. More in an age of marked class distinctions, it was considered improper that the sister of a Royal Duke should marry a country clergyman's son, her children are said to have objected to the marriage. Danby, who thought that Katherine would be a good match for his own son, was suspected of having had a hand in Williamson's downfall. After a period of comparative inactivity Sir Joseph represented England at the Congress of Nijmegen, in 1698 h
Sir John Banks, 1st Baronet
Sir John Banks, 1st Baronet FRS was an English merchant and MP, who rose from humble beginnings to be one of the wealthiest merchants in London and owner of several properties. Banks was born the son of Caleb Bankes of Maidstone, Kent and Martha Dann, he was educated at Cambridge. About 1657, Banks married daughter of Sir John Dethick, they had several children, including Caleb and Elizabeth. His son Caleb was MP for various constituencies, but predeceased him without issue in 1696. Banks was created a baronet by King Charles II in 1661, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1668. He invested in the overseas trade with the East and with Africa and in 1677 was financially involved in an expedition to search for a North-east trade route, he was Governor of the East India Company in 1673–74. Banks was Member of Parliament several times, he was survived by two married daughters. Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Cloudesley Shovell was an English naval officer. As a junior officer he saw action at the Battle of Solebay and at the Battle of Texel during the Third Anglo-Dutch War; as a captain he fought at the Battle of Bantry Bay during the Williamite War in Ireland. As a flag officer Shovell commanded a division at the Battle of Barfleur during the Nine Years' War and during the battle distinguished himself by being the first to break through the enemy's line. Along with Admiral Henry Killigrew and Admiral Ralph Delaval, Shovell was put in joint command of the fleet shortly afterwards. During the War of the Spanish Succession Shovell commanded a squadron which served under Admiral George Rooke at the capture of Gibraltar and the Battle of Málaga. Working in conjunction with a landing force under the Earl of Peterborough his forces undertook the siege and capture of Barcelona, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Navy while at Lisbon the following year. He commanded the naval element of a combined attack on Toulon, base of the main French fleet, in coordination with the Austrian army under Prince Eugene of Savoy in the summer of 1707.
His life was brought to an end in a disastrous shipwreck in the Isles of Scilly that year. He served as MP for Rochester from 1695 to 1701 and from 1705 until his death in 1707. Born in Cockthorpe, the son of John Shovell, a Norfolk gentleman, Anne Shovell, Shovell was born into a family'of property and distinction' which, although not poor, was by no means wealthy; the unusual first name of Cloudesley derives from the surname of his maternal grandmother Lucy Cloudisley, the daughter of Thomas Cloudisley. He went to sea as a cabin boy in the care of a paternal relative, Admiral Sir Christopher Myngs, in 1663. After Myngs' death he remained at sea in the care of Admiral Sir John Narborough. Promoted to midshipman on 22 January 1672, he was assigned to the first-rate HMS Royal Prince, flagship of the Duke of York, saw action when a combined British and French fleet was surprised and attacked by the Dutch, led by Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, at the Battle of Solebay off the Suffolk coast in May 1672, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War.
Promoted to master's mate on 17 September 1672, Shovell transferred to the third-rate HMS Fairfax that month and moved to the third-rate HMS Henrietta in November 1672. He saw action again when a combined British and French fleet attempting to land troops in the Netherlands was repelled by a smaller Dutch force, again led by Admiral de Ruyter, at the Battle of Texel in August 1673. Promoted to lieutenant on 25 September 1673, he transferred to the third-rate HMS Harwich in 1675 and took part in an action against the pirate stronghold at Tripoli. Shovell led a surprise attack on the pirates, sinking a number of their ships in January 1676. For this action he received the sum of £80 from Narborough. Two months he undertook a second raid against the pirates, for which he was awarded a gold medal from King Charles II. In a letter from the Admiralty, Samuel Pepys recorded the King's satisfaction with Shovell's actions. Promoted to captain 17 September 1677, Shovell was given command of the fifth-rate HMS Sapphire.
He transferred to the fourth-rate HMS Phoenix in April 1679 and returned to HMS Sapphire in May 1679 before transferring to the fifth-rate HMS Nonsuch in July 1680. He returned to HMS Sapphire again in September 1680 and transferred to the sixth-rate HMS James Galley in April 1681, to the third-rate HMS Anne in April 1687 and to the fourth-rate HMS Dover in April 1688. Throughout this period Shovell was engaged in the defence of Tangier from Salé raiders. Shovell transferred to the command of the third-rate HMS Edgar in April 1689 and saw action at the Battle of Bantry Bay in May 1689, when a French fleet tried to land troops in Southern Ireland to fight Prince William of Orange during the Williamite War in Ireland. After the battle, Commodore John Ashby and Shovell were knighted, he transferred to the third-rate HMS Monck in October 1689 and ordered to patrol the area between Ireland and the Isles of Scilly. In June 1690 he was commodore of a small squadron, which convoyed King William across St George's Channel to Carrickfergus.
Promoted to rear-admiral on 3 June 1690, Shovell hoisted his flag in the first-rate HMS Royal William. He provided naval support for Percy Kirke's Capture of Waterford in July 1690 commanding the Irish Squadron, he commanded a division of the Red squadron at the Battles of Barfleur and La Hogue in May 1692, in which Russell's Anglo-Dutch fleet intercepted and defeated the French fleet under Tourville, on its way along the Channel to provide an escort for an invasion of England. At Barfleur Shovell's flagship was the first ship to break through the enemy's line, in the latter stages of the battle he organised a fireship attack, he received a wound in the thigh during the action, which incapacitated him during preparations for the attack which destroyed the French ships that had taken refuge at La Hogue. Along with Admirals Henry Killigrew and Ralph Delaval, Shovell was put in joint command of the fleet in January 1693. After the disastrous attack on the Smyrna convoy off Lagos, Portugal, in June 1693, all three admirals were dismissed from their joint command.
Promoted to vice admiral on 16 April 1694, Shovell commanded a squadron on expeditions to Dieppe and Dunkirk in the year. Shovell set up residence with his wife at May Place in Crayford in 1694 and was elected Member of Parliament for Rochester in 1695, he was responsible for the restoration of St. Paulinus' Church in Crayford and was a great benefactor to Rochester, providing at his own expense t