Calahorra La Rioja, Spain is a municipality in the comarca of Rioja Baja, near the border with Navarre on the right bank of the Ebro. During Ancient Roman times, Calahorra was a municipium known as Calagurris Fibularia; the city is located on a hill at an altitude of 358 metres at the confluence of the Ebro and Cidacos rivers, has an area of 91.41 km². Calahorra is the second-largest city in La Rioja in population and importance, after the capital, Logroño, its population is 21,060 people. It is well-connected to other cities by highway, it is situated in the Ebro valley, 48 kilometres from Logroño, 120 km from Zaragoza and 180 km from Bilbao, is connected to these cities by national highway 232, the A-68 motorway and the Bilbao-Zaragoza rail line. Its daily bus services link it to such cities as Pamplona and San Sebastián, its status as seat of a comarca and judicial district make it a service-industry city in administrative and leisure fields. Calahorra has been inhabited since the Paleolithic, its stable population dates to the Iron Age.
Rome conquered the town in 187 BC and brought it to its highest point of importance as an administrative centre for surrounding regions. Calahorra supported Quintus Sertorius in his war against Pompey, whom the city resisted since 76 BC, it was only taken four years by Pompey's legate Lucius Afranius, after a lot of inhabitants had died from starvation and there had occurred cannibalism. Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar gave the city numerous distinctions, converted it into a municipality, developed its city planning and politics, its archeological remains show that it had a circus, baths, an amphitheatre, other services found in large cities. It served as a justice administration centre. Quintilian, well known for his descriptions of the culture of that time, was born in Calahorra, the Parador in the city is named after him, it has Roman ruins in the grounds. Saints Emeterius and Celedonius, martyred in the city around 305 AD, are the patron saints of the city, the city's coat of arms depict their names.
The cathedral is dedicated to them. The Christian Roman poet Prudentius may have inhabited at some point in Calahorra, who pinpoints it on the territory of the Vascones in the 4th century. After the rule of the Moors in the 9th and 10th centuries the Christian king García Sánchez III of Navarre captured the city in 1045. Monte Compatri, Italy Caussade, France Official Web Site Calahorra Web Site Calahorra Jewish family in Poland
Order of Aviz
The Military Order of Aviz to 1910 Royal Military Order of Aviz to 1789 Knights of Saint Benedict of Aviz or Friars of Santa Maria of Évora, is a Portuguese order of chivalry, founded in Portugal in 1146. It gave its name and coat of arms to the Aviz Dynasty that ruled Portugal between 1385 and 1580; the order, as a monastic military order, was founded in emulation of such military orders as the Knights Templar, which existed in Portugal as early as 1128, received a grant from Theresa, Countess of Portugal in the year of the Council of Troyes, which confirmed their early statutes. A native order of this kind sprang up in Portugal about 1146. Afonso, the first king, gave to it the town of Évora, captured from the Moors in 1166, the Knights were first called "Friars of Santa Maria of Évora". Pedro Henriques, an illegitimate son of the King's father, was the first grand master. After the conquest of Aviz a castle erected there became the motherhouse of the order, they were called "Knights of St. Benedict of Aviz", since they adopted the Benedictine rule in 1162, as modified by John Ziritu, one of the earliest Cistercian abbots of Portugal.
Like the Knights of Calatrava in Castile, the Knights of Portugal were indebted to the Cistercians for their rule and their habit—a white mantle with a green fleur-de-lysed cross. The Knights of Calatrava surrendered some of their places in Portugal to them on condition that the Knights of Aviz should be subject to the visitation of their grand master. Hence the Knights of Aviz were sometimes regarded as a branch of the Calatravan Order, although they never ceased to have a Portuguese grand master, dependent for temporalities on the Portuguese King. At the death of King Ferdinand war broke out between Portugal; when João I, grand master of the Knights of Aviz, ascended the throne of Portugal, he forbade the knights to submit to Castilian authority, when Gonsalvo de Guzman came to Aviz as Visitor, the knights, while according him hospitality, refused to recognise him as a superior. Guzman protested, the point remained a subject of contention until the Council of Basle, when Portugal was declared to be in the wrong.
But the right of the Calatravans was never exercised, the next grand master of the Knights of Aviz, Fernando Rodrigues de Sequeira, continued to assert supreme authority over them. The mission of the military orders in Portugal seemed to end after the overthrow of Muslim domination, but the Portuguese expeditions across the sea opened up a new field for them; the conquest of Ceuta by King João I, the attacks upon Tangier under João's son Duarte were crusades, inspired by a religious spirit and sanctioned by similar Papal Bulls. The Knights of Aviz and the Knights of Christ from Order of Christ, scions of the Knights Templars, achieved deeds of valour, the former under the Prince Fernando, the latter under Henrique, brother of King Duarte. Fernando displayed a no less heroic forbearance during his six years of captivity among the Muslims, a long martyrdom which after his death placed him among the Blessed; this enthusiasm did not last, the Crusade in Africa degenerated into mere mercantile enterprise.
After the grand mastership of the order had been vested in the King in perpetuity, he availed himself of its income to reward any kind of service in the army or the fleet. If the wealth of the Knights of Aviz was not as great as that of the Knights of Christ, it was still quite large, drawn as it was from some forty-three commanderies; the religious spirit of the knights vanished, they withdrew from their clerical brothers who continued alone the conventual life. They were dispensed from their vow of celibacy by Alexander VI, who tolerated their marriage to prevent scandalous concubinage. Nobility of birth remained the chief requirement of aspirants to the mantle, a requirement confirmed by a decree of 1604. Pope Pius VI and Queen Mary I reformed the order into a secular institution. In 1834, when the civil government of Portugal abolished religious orders and monasteries, after the defeat of King Miguel in the Civil War, under the constitutional monarchy the order lost its properties; the ancient military orders were transformed by the liberal constitution and subsequent legislation into mere orders of merit.
The privileges which once had been an essential part of the membership of the old military orders ceased. In 1910, when the Portuguese monarchy ended, the Republic of Portugal abolished all the orders except the Order of the Tower and Sword. However, in 1917, at the end of the Great War, some of these orders were re-established as mere orders of merit to reward outstanding services to the state, the office of grand master belonging to the head of state, the President of the Republic; the Military Order of Aviz, together with the other Portuguese Orders of Merit, had its statutes revised on several occasions, during the First Republic in 1962, again in 1986. The Military Order of Aviz, together with the Military Orders of Christ and of St. James of the Sword form the group of the "Ancient Military Orders", governed by a chancellor and a council of eight members, appointed by the President of the Republic, to assist him as grand master in all matters concerning the administration of the order.
The order can only be conferred on military personnel, both Portuguese and foreign, for outstanding service. For Portuguese nationals, a minimum of seven years of service in the armed forces is required as well as an outstandi
Rye, East Sussex
Rye is a small town and civil parish in the Rother district, in East Sussex, two miles from the sea at the confluence of three rivers: the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede. In medieval times, as an important member of the Cinque Ports confederation, it was at the head of an embayment of the English Channel, entirely surrounded by the sea. At the 2011 census, Rye had a population of 4,773, its historical association with the sea has included providing ships for the service of the King in time of war, being involved in smuggling. The notorious Hawkhurst Gang used its ancient inns The Mermaid Inn and The Olde Bell Inn, which are said to be connected to each other by a secret passageway; those historic roots and its charm make it a tourist destination, with hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, tea rooms, restaurants. It has a small fishing fleet, Rye Harbour has facilities for yachts and other vessels; the name of Rye is believed to come from rie. Medieval maps show that Rye was located on a huge embayment of the English Channel called the Rye Camber, which provided a safe anchorage and harbour.
As early as Roman times, Rye was important as a place of shipment and storage of iron from the Wealden iron industry. The Mermaid Inn dates to 1156. Rye, as part of the Saxon Manor of Rameslie, was given to the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy by King Æthelred; as one of the two "Antient Townes", Rye was to become a limb of the Cinque Ports Confederation by 1189, subsequently a full member. The protection of the town as one of the Cinque Ports was important, due to the commerce that trading brought. One of the oldest buildings in Rye is Ypres Tower, built in 1249 as "Baddings Tower", to defend the town from the French, was named after its owner, John de Ypres, it is now part of the Rye Museum. Rye received its charter from King Edward I in 1289, acquired privileges and tax exemptions in return for ship-service for the crown; the "Landgate" dates from 1329 in the early years of the reign of King Edward III. It is still the only vehicular route into the medieval centre of Rye and is suitable only for light vehicles.
In 2015, some 25 tonnes of pigeon excrement that had built up had to be removed from Landgate Arch for fear of damaging the ancient structure. The River Rother took an easterly course to flow into the sea near what is now New Romney. However, the violent storms in the 13th century cut the town off from the sea, destroyed Old Winchelsea, changed the course of the Rother; the sea and the river combined in about 1375 to destroy the eastern part of the town and ships began use the current area to unload their cargoes. Two years the town was sacked and burnt by the French, it was ordered that the town walls be completed, as a defence against foreign raiders. Rye was considered one of the finest of the Cinque Ports, though constant work had to be done to stop the gradual silting up of the river and the harbour. A conflict arose between the maritime interests and the landowners, who "inned" or reclaimed land from the sea on Romney and Walland Marsh, thus reduced the tidal flows that were supposed to keep the harbour free of silt.
Acts of Parliament had to be passed to enable the Rother to be kept navigable at all. With the coming of bigger ships and larger deepwater ports, Rye's economy began to decline, fishing and smuggling became more important. Imposition of taxes on goods had encouraged smuggling since 1301, but by the end of the 17th century, it became widespread throughout Kent and Sussex, with wool being the largest commodity; when luxury goods were added, smuggling became a criminal pursuit, groups – such as the Hawkhurst Gang who met in The Mermaid Inn in Rye – turned to murder and were subsequently hanged. Since 1803, lifeboats have been stationed at Rye although the lifeboat station is now at Rye Harbour about 2 miles downriver from the town; the worst disaster in RNLI history concerning a single vessel, indeed in the 20th century, occurred in 1928, when the Mary Stanford sank with all hands. The incident is recorded by a tablet at Winchelsea church, by the imposing memorial at Rye Harbour Church and by the folk song "The Mary Stanford of Rye".
A new Mary Stanford was commissioned by the RNLI two years and stationed at Ballycotton on the coast of Ireland. Since 2010, the RNLI has operated an Atlantic 85-class inshore lifeboat at Rye Harbour. Between 1696 and 1948, six ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Rye. During the 1803–1805 Napoleonic invasion threat, Rye and Chatham were regarded as the three most invasion ports, Rye became the western command centre for the Royal Military Canal; the canal was planned from Pett Level to Hythe, but was not completed until long after the threat had passed. From 1838–1889, Rye had its own borough police force, it was a small force with just two officers. Rye police had difficulties on Bonfire night and special constables were recruited to help deal with the problems bonfire gangs caused. After amalgamation with the County Force in 1889 a new police station was provided in Church Square. In 1892 the strength of the town police, now amalgamated, was three constables. In May 1940, during the darkest days of World War II, the Rye fishing fleet was invited to participate in Operation Dynamo, the seaborne rescue of the stranded British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk, but refused to do so.
Paul Monod's book The Murder of Mr Grebell: Madness and
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country. The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge; the historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval in about 430 hectares in size; the city's total population is 117,073. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km2 and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. Bruges has a significant economic importance, thanks to its port, was once one of the world's chief commercial cities. Bruges is well known as the seat of the College of Europe, a university institute for European studies; the place is first mentioned in records as Bruggas, Brvccia in 840–875 as Bruciam, Brutgis uico, in portu Bruggensi, Bricge, Brycge, Bruges, Bruggas and Brugge.
The name derives from the Old Dutch for "bridge": brugga. Compare Middle Dutch brucge and modern Dutch bruggehoofd and brug; the form brugghe would be a southern Dutch variant. The Dutch word and the English "bridge" both derive from Proto-Germanic *brugjō-. Bruges was a location of coastal settlement during prehistory; this Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement is unrelated to medieval city development. In the Bruges area, the first fortifications were built after Julius Caesar's conquest of the Menapii in the first century BC, to protect the coastal area against pirates; the Franks took over the whole region from the Gallo-Romans around the 4th century and administered it as the Pagus Flandrensis. The Viking incursions of the ninth century prompted Count Baldwin I of Flanders to reinforce the Roman fortifications. Early medieval habitation starts in the 9th and 10th century on the Burgh terrain with a fortified settlement and church Bruges became important due to the tidal inlet, important to local commerce, This inlet was known as the "Golden Inlet".
Bruges received its city charter on 27 July 1128, new walls and canals were built. In 1089 Bruges became the capital of the County of Flanders. Since about 1050, gradual silting had caused the city to lose its direct access to the sea. A storm in 1134, however, re-established this access, through the creation of a natural channel at the Zwin; the new sea arm stretched all the way to Damme, a city that became the commercial outpost for Bruges. Bruges had a strategic location at the crossroads of the northern Hanseatic League trade and the southern trade routes. Bruges was included in the circuit of the Flemish and French cloth fairs at the beginning of the 13th century, but when the old system of fairs broke down the entrepreneurs of Bruges innovated, they developed, or borrowed from Italy, new forms of merchant capitalism, whereby several merchants would share the risks and profits and pool their knowledge of markets. They employed new forms of economic exchange, including letters of credit; the city eagerly welcomed foreign traders, most notably the Portuguese traders selling pepper and other spices.
With the reawakening of town life in the twelfth century, a wool market, a woollens weaving industry, the market for cloth all profited from the shelter of city walls, where surpluses could be safely accumulated under the patronage of the counts of Flanders. The city's entrepreneurs reached out to make economic colonies of England and Scotland's wool-producing districts. English contacts brought Normandy grain and Gascon wines. Hanseatic ships filled the harbor, which had to be expanded beyond Damme to Sluys to accommodate the new cog-ships. In 1277, the first merchant fleet from Genoa appeared in the port of Bruges, first of the merchant colony that made Bruges the main link to the trade of the Mediterranean; this development opened not only the trade in spices from the Levant, but advanced commercial and financial techniques and a flood of capital that soon took over the banking of Bruges. The Bourse opened in 1309 and developed into the most sophisticated money market of the Low Countries in the 14th century.
By the time Venetian galleys first appeared. Numerous foreign merchants were welcomed in Bruges, such as the Castilian wool merchants who first arrived in the 13th century. After the Castilian wool monopoly ended, the Basques, many hailing from Bilbao, thrived as merchants and established their own commercial consulate in Bruges by the mid-15th century; the foreign merchants expanded the city's trading zones. They maintained separate communities governed by their own laws until the economic collapse after 1700; such wealth gave rise to social upheavals, which were for the most part harshly contained by the militia. In 1302, after the Bruges Matins, the population joined forces with the Count of Flanders against the French, culminating in
Battle of Saltes Island
The naval Battle of Saltes Island or Battle of Saltes took place on 17 July 1381, off Saltes Island, between the Crown of Castile and the Kingdom of Portugal during the Third Ferdinand War. The Castilian fleet commanded by Don Fernando Sánchez de Tovar defeated decisively the Portuguese fleet led by João Afonso Telo; the result of the battle was the destruction of the naval offensive capability of Portugal, achieving the Castilian naval supremacy in the Atlantic Ocean. Following the death of Peter I of Castile, Ferdinand I of Portugal declared war on the Kingdom of Castile for possession of the Castilian throne; this series of conflicts were known as the Ferdinand Wars. In 1381, breaking the Treaty of Santarem which brought peace to the second war, Ferdinand I retaliated against Castile, thus initiating the Third Ferdinand War. For this, he signed an alliance with the young Richard II of England. John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster had claims to the Castilian throne since 1371 and seeing in this deal a means of enforcement of his cause, sent about 2,000 English soldiers under the command of the Earl of Cambridge to Lisbon to support a Portuguese incursion into the Castilian territory.
To prevent the English contingent being intercepted at sea by the navy of Castile, the Portuguese monarch planned a naval blockade. In mid-July 1381, a Portuguese fleet under the command of João Afonso Teles de Menezes, 6th Count of Barcelos, sailed from Lisbon towards the mouth of the Guadalquivir river to prevent the passage of the Castilian fleet, anchored in Seville. At the same time, the fleet of Admiral Fernando Sánchez de Tovar sailed from its base in Seville, heading out to the Portuguese coasts. On 17 July, sailing in the two fleets sighted each other off the Algarve. After assessing the situation, Castilian Admiral Fernando Sánchez de Tovar considered victory unlikely under the circumstances and ordered the fleet to tack and return to port, his Portuguese counterpart saw an opportunity to beat the rival, began pursuit of the Castilian fleet. De Tovar ordered to his men to row at a fast pace, forcing his Portuguese pursuers to match the effort to try to overcome the fleet; the different speeds at which they advanced increased the distance between the Portuguese ships, breaking their formation.
After about two hours, exhaustion and the heat of summer took their toll on the Portuguese rowers, many of their ships were left behind. Eight of them, the vanguard of the Portuguese fleet, attacked the small island of Saltés and destroyed the property of the fishermen in the vicinity. Seeing that the Portuguese had fallen into his trap, de Tovar launched his ships against the enemy in compact formation, captured the Portuguese galleys; the rest of the Portuguese fleet approached in disarray one by one and were captured by the Castilians without difficulty. Only one of the 23 Portuguese galleys avoided capture. Admiral Fernando Sánchez de Tovar entered triumphantly with his 22 galleys captured in the port of Seville, with great joy of its inhabitants; this fact allowed the English to dock in Lisbon without problems. The English men of the Duke of Lancaster, arranged their boats to face off against the fleet of Sánchez de Tovar, but knowing that he had returned to Seville, the English ships returned to England, leaving in Lisbon to the English land forces.
The resounding victory of Don Fernando Sánchez de Tovar had obvious implications for the Third Ferdinand War. Annulled the naval offensive capability of Portugal, achieving the Castilian naval supremacy in the Atlantic Ocean; that year, the Portuguese could not build more fleets against Castile, who, in turn, did not need to do the same, the Castilians exercised an effective control of the sea. Therefore, the battle ended the naval Portuguese campaign of 1381; the effects of the Portuguese defeat felt in the following year, when the Kingdom of Portugal had to face, militarily weaker than usual, a vigorous attack by sea and land from the Crown of Castile. The Castilians came to the gates of Lisbon, forcing the King of Portugal to sign peace in August with John I of Castile, by the Treaty of Elvas. List of Castilian monarchs List of Portuguese monarchs List of English monarchs Cervera Pery, José. El poder naval en los reinos Hispánicos: la marina de la Edad Media. Madrid ISBN 84-7140-291-2 Condeminas Mascaró, Francisco.
La Marina militar Española. Málaga ISBN 84-930472-4-4 Lopes, Fernão. Crónica do Senhor Rei D. Fernando Nono Rei de Portugal. Livraria Civilização. Porto Fernández Duro, Cesáreo. La Marina de Castilla. Madrid ISBN 978-84-86228-04-0 Quintella, Ignacio da Costa. Annaes da Marinha Portugueza. Academia Real das Sciencias. Lisboa Pereira, António Rodrigues. História da Marinha Portuguesa. Escola Naval. Lisboa Batista González, Juan. España estratégica. Guerra y diplomacia en la historia de España. Madrid ISBN 978-84-7737-183-0
Portugal the Portuguese Republic, is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, its territory includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled and fought over since prehistoric times; the pre-Celtic people, Celts and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. Portugal as a country was established during the Christian Reconquista against the Moors who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128; the Kingdom of Portugal was proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India and the European discovery of Brazil. During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil, a late industrialization compared to other European powers, erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime.
Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its overseas territories; the handover of Macau to China in 1999 marked the end of what can be considered the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe, a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, many Portuguese-based creoles, it is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is placed in rankings of moral freedom, democracy, press freedom, social progress, LGBT rights. A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the word Portugal derives from the Roman-Celtic place name Portus Cale. Portus, the Latin word for port or harbour, Cala or Cailleach was the name of a Celtic goddess – in Scotland she is known as Beira – and the name of an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal.
At the time the land of a specific people was named after its deity. Those names are the origins of the - gal in Galicia. Incidentally, the meaning of Cale or Calle is a derivation of the Celtic word for port which would confirm old links to pre-Roman, Celtic languages which compare to today's Irish caladh or Scottish cala, both meaning port; some French scholars believe it may have come from ` Portus Gallus', the port of the Celts. Around 200 BC, the Romans took the Iberian Peninsula from the Carthaginians during the Second Punic War, in the process conquered Cale and renamed it Portus Cale incorporating it to the province of Gaellicia with capital in Bracara Augusta. During the Middle Ages, the region around Portus Cale became known by the Suebi and Visigoths as Portucale; the name Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, by the 9th century, that term was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho. By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugallia or Portvgalliae was referred to as Portugal.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe. The name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale; the region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia, after 45 BC until 298 AD. The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula; these were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing, it is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Celts invaded Portugal from Central Europe and inter-married with the local populations, forming differe
Gravesend is an ancient town in northwest Kent, situated 21 miles east-southeast of Charing Cross on the south bank of the Thames Estuary and opposite Tilbury in Essex. Located in the diocese of Rochester, it is the administrative centre of the Borough of Gravesham, its geographical situation has given Gravesend strategic importance throughout the maritime and communications history of South East England. A Thames Gateway commuter town, it retains strong links with the River Thames, not least through the Port of London Authority Pilot Station and has witnessed rejuvenation since the advent of High Speed 1 rail services via Gravesend railway station. Recorded as Gravesham in the Domesday Book of 1086 when it belonged to Odo, Earl of Kent and Bishop of Bayeux, the half-brother of William the Conqueror, its name derives from graaf-ham: the home of the reeve or bailiff of the lord of the manor. Another theory suggests that the name Gravesham may be a corruption of the words grafs-ham – a place "at the end of the grove".
Frank Carr asserts that the name derives from the Saxon Gerevesend, the end of the authority of the Portreeve. In the Netherlands, a place called's-Gravenzande is found with its name translating into "Sand belonging to the Count". The's is a contraction of the old Dutch genitive article des, translates into plain English as of the. In Brooklyn, New York, the neighbourhood of Gravesend is said by some to have been named for's-Gravenzande; the Domesday spelling is its earliest known historical record. The variation Graveshend can be seen in a court record of 1422, where Edmund de Langeford was parson, attributed to where the graves ended after the Black Death; the municipal title Gravesham was formally adopted in 1974 as the name for the new borough. Stone Age implements have been found in the locality since the 1900s, as has evidence of an Iron Age settlement at nearby Springhead. Extensive Roman remains have been found at nearby Vagniacae. Domesday Book recorded mills and fisheries here. Milton Chantry is dates from the early 14th century.
It was refounded as a chapel in 1320/21 on the original site of a former leper hospital founded in 1189. Gravesend has one of the oldest surviving markets in the country, its earliest charter dates from 1268, with town status being granted to the two parishes of Gravesend and Milton by King Henry III in its Charter of Incorporation of that year. The first Mayor of Gravesend was elected in 1268, although the first Town Hall was not built until 1573, being replaced in 1764 with a new frontage added in 1836. Although it ceased to be a town hall in 1968 when the new Gravesend Civic Centre was opened, it remains in use as Magistrates' Courts, in 2004, following a full refurbishment funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and grants from Kent County Council and Gravesham Borough Council, the Old Town Hall now thrives as a venue for weddings and private functions as well as community and public events. In 1380, during the Hundred Years' War, Gravesend suffered being sacked and burned by the Castilian fleet.
In 1401, a further Royal Charter was granted, allowing the men of the town to operate boats between London and the town. It became the preferred form of passage, because of the perils of road travel. On Gravesend's river front are the remains of a Tudor fort built by command of King Henry VIII in 1543. On 21 March 1617, John Rolfe and Rebecca with their two-year-old son, boarded a ship in London bound for the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is not known. Her funeral and interment took place on 21 March 1617 at the parish church of Gravesend; the site of her grave was underneath the church's chancel, though since the previous church was destroyed by fire in 1727 her exact resting place is unknown. Thomas Rolfe survived, but was placed under the supervision of Sir Lewis Stukley at Plymouth, before being sent to his uncle, Henry Rolfe whilst John Rolfe and his late wife's assistant Tomocomo reached America under the captaincy of Sir Samuel Argall's ship. At Fort Gardens is the New Tavern Fort, built during the 1780s and extensively rebuilt by Major-General Charles Gordon between 1865 and 1879: it is now Chantry Heritage Centre open-air, under the care of Gravesend Local History Society.
Journeys by road to Gravesend were quite hazardous, since the main London-Dover road crossed Blackheath, notorious for its highwaymen. Stagecoaches from London to Canterbury and Faversham used Gravesend as one of their "stages" as did those coming north from Tonbridge. In 1840 there were 17 coaches picking up and setting down passengers and changing horses each way per day. There were two coaching inns on what is now Old Road East: the Prince of the Lord Nelson. Post coaches had been plying the route for at least two centuries: Samuel Pepys records having stopped off at Gravesend in 1650 en route to the Royal Dockyards at Chatham. A permanent military presence was established in the town when Milton Barracks opened in 1862. Although a great deal of the town's economy continued to be connected with maritime trade, since the 19th century other major employers have been the cement and paper industries. From 1932 to 1956, an airport was located to t