The northern bank of the Thames upon which Southend-on-Sea is situated has been populated from remote times.2000 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.The peoples of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age inhabited the district. There was also successive occupation by Celts, Romans, Saxons and Danes.1st – 5th Century A.D.Roman occupation area north of Thames.500 – 650Settlement in the district of pagan Saxons.824Southchurch Church founded.Southchurch(orSudcerainSaxon)givenbyLifstanus,aSaxonthegn,tothemonksofChristChurch,Canterbury. Achurchwasno doubtlonginexistencebefore824,butthisisthefirsttimetheareahasbeenreferredtoindocumentation.ThefirstSaxonchurch wasnodoubtmadeofwood,butwiththeaidofsomesuperbNormanmonks,thisoriginalstructurewouldhavebeenreplacedbya smallstonestructure.Sometimelateraround1120-1150agreaterchurchstructurewasbuiltandmuchofthisisstillinexistence today within Holy Trinity.894Battle of Benfleet. Danes defeated and driven across site of modern Southend to Shoebury by King Alfred’s men.SouthShoeburybecameknownwhen,KingAlfredbeingdetainedbytheDanesinthewestofEngland,twotroopsoftheserovers assembledatShoebury,theancientnameofthisplace,andraisedafortorcastlethere.Thisfortwasdoubtless,asmostofthe hastyfortificationsofthatperiodwere,littlemorethanearthworksurroundedwithatrenchandamoat.Thefort,existingnowwithin theareaoftheformerHorseshoeBarracksandascheduledancientmonumentwasoccupiedin894byHaesterfollowinghisdefeat by King Alfred's forces at the Battle of Benfleet1016Battle of Ashingdon. Edmund Ironside defeated by Canute.1066 – 87Rayleigh Castle built.1079The original Shore House was built from the timbers of wrecked ships. The foreman in charge of ship' cargoes lived there.1086The Norman nave is built in St Mary's Church Prittlewell which greatly enlarges the church.Leigh recorded in the Domesday Book as Legra, There were five borders (peasants) who probably made their livings by ferrying goods to, from and between ships moored in the estuary, and ferrying passengers up and down the coast. Leigh was a ship buildings and trading port.St Mary's Church Prittlewell is also mentioned in the Domesday Book.The church of St. Mary the VirginThechurchofSt.MarytheVirgin,oneofthelargestand,fromanarchitecturalpointofview,oneofthemostinterestinginthe county,isabuildingofKentishragstone,consistingofchancel,nave,southaisle,witheasternor“Jesus”chapel,southporchanda statelyPerpendicularembattledwesterntower,withpinnacles,containingaclockandapealof10bells,thetenorweighing18-1/2 cwt.Takenasawholethebuildingmaybesaidtodatefromthe12thcentury,thecentreaislebeingof11thcenturywork.Thethree westernmostarches,dividingthenavefromtheaisle,areofthe12thcentury,andtherestoration,carriedoutbythelateEwan Christianesq.in1872,disclosedthefactthattheywerecutthroughawallofmuchgreaterage,containingtheremainsofEarly Normanwindows.Thenorthwallofthechancelalsoshowstracesofanarch,blockedup,andiscomposedofRomanbricks.The wallsaresurmountedbyarichandsingularlyperfectembattledparapetofflintandstonechequerwork,thepulpitisofCaenstone, enrichedwithmarbleshafts,thecentralpanelcontainingabas-relief,thereisanoctagonalfontwithsquareshaft,eightstained windowshavebeenpresented,andincludeamemorialwindowtoSirArundellNeavebart.d.21Sept.1877,consistingofantique 15thcenturyFlemishandItalianglassbroughtfromachurchinRouenandattributedto AlbertDurer. TheJesuschapelwasrestored in1916asamemorialtoCanonReay,vicar1880-1914,theporchwasrestoredin1921-22,thewindowsbeingunblocked,and stainedmemorialwindowsdepictingSt.Michael,St.George,SirGalahadandKingArthurinserted.In1922amemorialcrossto thosewhofellintheGreatWar,1914-18,waserectedinfrontofthetower,thetowerwasrestoredin1924-25,atacostof£2,500. ThechurchyardwasclosedforburialsbyvariousordersfromMarch,1869,toNov.1881.Theregisterofbaptismsdatesfrom1649of marriages and burials from 1645.1100 - 1140Located in South Shoebury, the Parish Church of St. Andrew is built.The Parish Church of St Andrew was built between 1100 and 1140 and is the most interesting and complete specimen of Norman architecture, located in south Shoebury. The thick walls are built of ragstone rubble with caenstone quoins and the roof is red tiled. The fine embattled tower at the west end is built of flint rubble and ragstone with brick parapet.1110Prittlewell Priory established.HerewasonceaprioryofCluniacmonks,foundedbyRobertdeEssexorFitz-SwaininthereignofHenryII,anddedicatedtoSt. Mary.ItwassubordinatetothegreatmonasteryofthatorderatLewes,inSussex,andtherevenuesattheDissolution,whenthere weresevenmonks,amountedto£194.14s.3d.,afineoldEarlyTudortimberedroofcoversthatportionoftherefectorywhichstill remains. Therearealsosomeremainsofthecellarswhichwereprobablyformedoutoftheoldcrypts. Theprioryandpark,covering almost45acres,waspresentedtotheboroughbythelateR.A.Jonesesq.M.B.E.in1917.Therefectoryandtheprior’schamber werecarefullyrestoredunderthesupervisionofP.M.Johnstonesq.F.S.A.andsomeoftheroomsareusedasthemuseumfor south-eastEssex,andcontainmanyinterestinglocalantiquities.Thepark,whichcontainssomefineoldelmtrees,isnowunderthe controlofacommitteeoftheCorporation.OppositetheprioryisagreyCornishgranitedrinkingfountain,alsothegiftofthelateMr. Jones.Thepriorywasrestoredin1922,andopenedasapublicmuseum,whichcontainedmanyinterestinglocalantiquitiesand natural history exhibits.1120 - 1150Holy Trinity Church, Southchurch, was re-constructed on the site of a previous Saxon wooden structure from 824.ThechurchoftheHolyTrinitySouthchurchwasuntil1906forthemostpartNorman,havingbeenbuiltinthefirsthalfofthe12th century.Thepresentchanceldatesfromabout100yearslater,thoughthearchisprobably15thcentury.ThesouthdoorisNorman, andtherearethree13thcenturylancetwindows,inthenorthwallofthechancelisanEastersepulchreofthelaterpartofthe14th centuryandbelowitisatombofthesameperiod,withamodernslab,oppositethereisanindentwhichoriginallycontainedahalf figure,probablyofapriest,andthetombhasamarginalinscriptioninseparatecapitalletters,whicharenowillegible.Inthenave arestepswhichledtoaroofloft,andthereisadoublepiscinaofthe12thcentury.Thebellturret,withtimbersupports,belongsto the15thcentury,buttheonebell,inscribed“Johannes”isdatedasearlyas14thcentury.In1906thegreaterpartoftheNorman northwallwastakendownandanewnaveandpartofanorthaisleadded,theNormandoorwasremoved,stonebystone,and rebuiltintothewestwallofthenewnave,threeancientwindows,oneNorman,weretakenoutandinsertedinthenewnorthwall. Thechurchplatedatesfrom1682.Theregistersdatefromtheyear1695,andthereisalistofrectorsfromthe13thcentury.The livingisarectory(1929),netyearlyvalue£960,withresidenceand3acresofglebe,inthegiftofthe ArchbishopofCanterbury,and heldsince1918bytheRev.EdwardAshurstWelchM.A.ofKing’sCollege,Cambridge;thislivingwasoneofthepeculiarsofthe Archbishop of Canterbury, the church and manor having been given in 824 to Christ Church, Canterbury.1170Records from Canterbury Cathedral record the earlier gift by Lifstan of Southchurch to the Monks of Canterbury.1220 – 30Hadleigh Castle built.1238The de Veres are granted permission to hold a Monday market at Prittlewell.1240c1240. First part of Southchurch Hall built.1255Royal Elope From Leigh.LeighStranddrewattentionasayoungcouplearrived,dressedinfineriesandfurlinedcloaks.Theywereawaitingashiptotake themtoFrance.Thelocalswhoglancedatthecouple,mayhavetakenmorenoticeiftheyhadrealisedinfacttheyoungbeautiful girlwasPrincessBeatricedaughterofKingHenryIII,whowasattemptingtoelopewithRalphdeBinley.Whileherfatherwasin Londonnegotiatingherhandinmarriageto Alfonse,LordofCastillefromSpain.WordhadgotoutandaguardfromHadleighCastle weremakingtherewaytoapprehendthePrincess.TheymanagedtohalttheescapeandreturnBeatricetoLondon,andherbeau was taken to Chelmsford Prison where he was tried and sentenced to death.1285The first Crow stone erected.TheCityofLondonhashadassociationswiththeSouthendareasince12thcentury.In1197RichardIneededmoneytoequiphis expeditiontotheHolyLand,hesoldtherightsoftheCrownintheRiverThamestotheLordMayorandcitizensofLondon.In1285 thesecondRichardconfirmedthoserightsandboundarystones,andboundarystoneswereerectedintheThamesEstuary,andin theMedwaytomarkthelimitsofjurisdiction.Itbecamecustomtomakeceremonialvisitstothestonesatfiveorsevenyears intervalsandthenameofthevisitingLordMayorwasinscribedonthestones.TheCrowstonemarkedtheThameslimitandstoodontheshorebetweenLeighandwhatlaterbecameSouthEnd.Theearlieststoneerectedin1285,wornbyconstanttidesandbad weather,disappeared,butin1771,LordMayorBrassCrosbyerectedanewstone. Anotherobelisk,14fthighwaslatererectedand thelastLordMayortoberecordedwasSirJamesDuke,in1856. Thefollowingyearthe ThamesConservancyBoardwasformedby ActofParliamentwhichtransferredtoittherightsandprivilegesoftheCity.WhenLordMayorMatthewWoodvisitedtheCrowStone in August,1816hisdistinguishedpartydinedoffSouthendintheTrinityYachtandafterdinnerthecivicpartywererowedashorefor the ball to be given by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at the Royal Hotel.1299Milton Mill was built.1381The Peasants’ Revolt. Led by John Syrat of Shoebury and local peasants against the Poll Tax.ThePeasants’Revolt,ledlocallybyJohnSyratofShoeburyagainstthePollTax,occurredasdepictedinthispaintingbyAlan Sorrell. The image portrays the peasants storming into Southchurch Hall and finding any rolls or evidence they could burn.TherewasalsoaMiltonrebellion.VillagersstormedMiltonHallinprotestatpoorwagesandconditions,theyburnedmanorial records; there protests were in vane as they were quelled and the rebellions were forced to pay large fines.1406A King Seeks Sanctuary in Leigh.KingHenryIV,needingtoavoidtheplagueraginginLondonwascrossingtheThamesEstuarywhenheandhisshipwasattacked byFrenchpirates.AfiercechaseensuedwhichsawtheKing'screwusingtheirskilltooutwitthepiratesandlandtheirsovereignat theStrandinOldLeigh.AshesetfootontheStrandtheKingwentdownonhiskneesand,withhiseyefirmlyfixedonthechurch onthehill,hegavethankstoGodforhissafedeliverytoLeigh.Hewaspersuadedtotakerefreshmentattheclosestpub,The Crown, before moving on to Pleshey.1450St Clement's Church Leigh-on-Sea starts to be built, legend has it the stones from the ruins of Hadleigh Castle were used in the construction.1470St. Mary’s Church tower Prittlewell was built.1477Edward IV granted the Licence for the Jesus Guild, Prittlewell.TheJesusGuildofPrittlewell,givenrecognisedstatusbyRoyalLicence(EdwardIV),withthiscamethefirstpermanentschool,the GuildhouseSchool,whichwasanelementaryschool,toeducateboysandpoorparents.theguildsurviveduntil1548whenitwas suppressed. the school however lasted until 17th Century.1481The earliest recorded use of South End as a place name is in a will of this year, where it is given as “Sowthende.” The Minister’s accounts 1535-36 (in the reign of Henry VIII), listing the possessions of the Priory in Prittlewell when it was suppressed in 1536, mentions several properties in “Sothende” or “Southende.”1509Font built in St Mary's Church to commemorate the marriage of Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon.1530Anne Boleyn resident at Rochford Hall.1536Suppression of the Priory at Prittlewell.1565First Customs Officer appointed at Leigh-on-Sea.1573Controversy erupted between the citizens of Leigh and London over the subject of beer. The outcome of the argument was that it was solemnly decreed that Leigh could have from London four tuns (tun is double the size of a butt or eight barrels) of beer a week.1579The first of many ships built at Leigh was the “Speedwell” a ship of 105 tonnes was built.1588The Armada. Leigh was an important Naval Base and an armed force was established to protect the seaport.1604 – 16Rev. Samuel Purchas, author of “Purchas: his Pilgrimes”, Vicar of Eastwood, records Battell’s Travels.1592Humpfrey Browne died, the first known owner of Porters.At the time of the Spanish Armada, Leigh was allocated a special defence force. In 1592 Leigh was one of four English ports at which troops embarked for the invasion of Normandy, and in 1598, 1,000 troops embarked at Leigh for France.1594John Norden's map shows Leghe one of the earliest spellings of Leigh. It later became known as 'the Lee'. John Gerard, herbalist to James I, writes much of the plants he found at 'Lee in Essex' where he often rambled.1604Rev. Samuel Purchas, author of 'Purchas his Pilgrimes', Vicar of Eastwood, records Battell’s Travels.1609Mary Ellis died on 3rd June, a well known and much loved resident of Old Leigh who lived to the remarkable age of 119. Her tomb in a block shape with a plinth on top was used by the press gangs to sharpen their sabres prior to conscripting the young lads in the church congregation, it is thought the actions of these swords on the top of the tomb are still visible.1610Andrew Battell, a Leigh seaman, was the first European to travel in Central Africa, who returned to Leigh after 21 years’ absence in Africa and America.1616Masters of Trinity House DiscoveredIn1940whenSouthendCouncilstartedtoremovesomeageolddwellingsinOldLeigh,theydiscoveredbehindcenturiesof wallpaperandcoveringssomeoakpanellingdatingbacktoTudortimes.Theseparticularrowcottageswerepartofthedowryof AnneBoleynonhermarriagetoHenryVIIIand,fromabout1615wereoccupiedbyRichardChester,aMasterofTrinityHouse. Discoveredbehindthepanellingwerefoundtwoprayerbooksinwhitehideandhandwrittenonvellum:theprayersofTrinityHouse dated 1616.1620Leigh House (formerly Blacke House), Leigh-on-Sea was built.The “Mayflower” moored in Leigh before sailing to the New World.1620 – 30Canvey Island drained by the Dutch.1652After the first two battles of the Dutch Wars, Admiral Van Tramp inflicted grave damage on Admiral Blake's Fleet off the Goodwin Sands, it was to Leigh that he brought his crippled ships for refitting.1653In February, Blake sailed from the Thames with sixty warships and defeated the Dutch admiral, Van Tromp, in the English Channel.1666An officer of customs reported that wreckage from a warship had floated ashore at Southend. This was probably from the man-o'-war 'London' which blew up off Southend in March 1665, whilst being taken from Chatham to Tilbury, to be prepared for commission. Three hundred of her crew drowned.Prittlewell suffered along with nearby London with the terrible impact of the plague. St Mary's Church buried some 43 parishioners this year, the marked increase attributed to the deadly plague.1667Samual Pepys in his Diary made an entry about Leigh on July 17th. He wrote: "My sister Michell came from Lee to see us; but do tattle so much of the late business of the Dutch coming tither that I am weary of it. She saw the Royal Charles brought into the river by them, and how they shot off their great guns for joy when they got her out of Chatham River."1668Thorpe Hall is built in a Tudor style, and today is preserved and looked after by Thorpe Bay Golf Club.1672Sir Richard Haddock won distinction during one of the battles of the Dutch War, it was also at this time the English Fleet's headquarters were based in the Thames Estuary.1695Peter boat, Leigh, built on the side of a weather boarded inn.17th – 18th CenturyProminence of Leigh and Leigh seamen in naval history and Dutch Wars. Among these were members of the Salmon, Haddock and Goodlad families.Captain William Haddock (1607 – 1667) served with distinction against the Dutch, and was awarded a gold medal by the Commonwealth Govt. (1649 – 1660) for his services. His son, Admiral Sir William Haddock (1629 – 1715), became Comptroller of the Navy.Robert Salmon and William Goodlad, both Masters of Trinity House, took prominent parts in the Greenland Whale Fisheries, the latter commanding the Greenland Company’s fleet for twenty years.1700c1700.AfishermannamedJosephOutingdiscoveredbyaccidentthattheforeshoreoftheadjoiningmanorofSouthchurchwas goodfeedingandfatteninggroundforoysters.Hesecuredaleaseofpartofthethatforeshoreandstartedwhatsoonwasto becomeaprosperouslocalindustryinoystercultivation.ThefirstgroupofbuildingsneartheshoreatSouthendwerethehuts erected by Joseph Outing for the use of his men and for the storage of their gear.The Local Oyster IndustryForcenturiestheoysterhasbeenassociatedwithEssex.Asearlyas1434,ChalkwellManorwasgrantedtherighttomaintainthe oyster-beds,andcultivationcontinueduntilabout1890.Priortotheeighteenthcentury,however,therewaslittleornorealscientific applicationtotheircultivationinEssexwaters,butearlyinthatcenturyColchesterbegantogivethoughttothepossibilities.Local cultivationatSouthchurchbeganbymerechancewhenafishermannamedJosephOutingthrewoverboardsomesmalloysters. Laterhediscoveredthattheyhadthrivedandhadgainedmuchinsize.Heexperimentedandcametotheconclusionthatcultivation wasworthwhileatthissite,soobtainedalease.Outingdidwellandhissuccesswasfollowedbythatofothermenalongthe foreshore. Asaresultofcontinuallyimprovingmethodsofcultivation,theyprospered.Demandwasconsiderablewiththeresultthat largequantitiesofyoungoystershadtobeimportedfromotherpartsofEngland,andfromthenorthwestcoastofFranceinorderto maintain the Southchurch beds.TheEssexoystertradereachedsuchdimensionsinthenorthbankofthe Thamesthatitarousedtheenvyoftheoyster-meninKent. Rivalryconcerningestuaryoystershadpersistedthenforsometime.In1724,agreatraidwasmadeonthe“SouthEnd”oysterbeds byfivehundredfishermenfromMilton,QueensboroughandFaversham,headedbyCapt.Evans,M.P.,MayorofQueensborough,in a fleet of sloops and small craft, in endeavour to force their claim that the beds were public property.LocalMagistratesmusteredalltheparishconstablesoftheRochfordHundred,andthroughreadingoftheRiotActonthebeach, therewasfortunatelynoviolence.DuringthenexttenorelevendaystheKentishmensettowork,inconsequenceofwhichthebeds wereseriouslydepletedanddamaged.Ononedayalone,fivelargesloopsofthisKentish Armardacarriedofffullloadsofoystersto sell in London.Inthefollowingyearthreeactionsfortrespasswerebroughtagainsttheraiders–thefirstbyOuting,asecondbyWilliamHuttonof Leigh,andthethirdbyanotherpersonholdingaleaseoftheforeshoreoffSouthend.ThefirsttwoactionswereheldatBrentwood, whenOutingandHuttonwereawardeddamagesandcosts.Thelocaloyster-menalsowonthethirdcase,whichwasheardat Westminster.TheraidoftheKentish ArmadacosttheKentmenmorethan£7,000,buttheresultsettledbeyondanydoubttherightsofthenorth coastoyster-men.TheprivatefisheriesoftheEssexcoastweredevelopedandtheforeshoreoppositeSouthchurchandOld Southend provided important fattening grounds.In1770,extensiveoysterbedswerelaidatMilton,andalthoughthesewereabandonedabout1830,cultivationcontinuedat Southchurchuntilabout1895.Bythen,ceaselessdredginghadrootedouttheoystersuntilonlytwobanksofanygreatsizesurvived in the Rochford Hundred, one on the River Crouch and the other on the River Roach.Thecontaminationofoyster-bedsthroughsewageseriouslyaffectedthetrade,andgraduallycausedtheextinctionoftheindustryoff Southend.1738Arrival of new owners to Southchurch Hall, the Asser family bought the 'pile' from the Earl of Nottingham. The Asser family remained as strong members of the community and stones commemorating them are in place at Holy Trinity Church in Southchurch Boulevard.1748John Wesley founder of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection arrived in Leigh on Monday 21st November, preaching Methodism to a large gathering and returning six more times to the town until 1756.1758By now Southend was in a single rating, comprising the Ship Hotel, recently rebuilt, Old Brewery Road, Pleasant Row and Marine Parade.1767John Remnant builds a row of cottages in front of the Oystermen’s huts in Pleasants Row. Two years later it is recorded that Southend had thirteen cottages and a house, which later became the Ship Hotel.1768First mention of Southend for sea - bathing.1771The second Crow stone erected by Lord Mayor Brass Cosby.17721772-1774. The name South End appears on Chapman and André’s map, this is probably the earliest map on which it is to be found.1780Southend (village) had nineteen houses.1786Prittlewell Parish builds a workhouse, and here the unfortunate people of South End and Prittlewell were confined and made to work.1790The Duke of Clarence hotel was built on what is now the High Street, later became Clarence House, a house where Dr. Jones lived.A timber building called “The Laboratory” was built, for crystallising salt from sea water.The Duke of York hotel was built on what is now the High Street, later became the centre for Mr. Woosnam’s wine business.1791-1792Construction of Grand (Royal) Hotel and Terrace. New hotel for a growing town.Royal Terrace and Hotel were built, by Thomas Holland. The hotel was the most expensive in the town, wanting to attract the wealthier day visitor, but the average east-ender at the time could not afford it, which did the Hope and other hotels around no harm at all. 1793The Minerva Hotel was built in 1793 by a well known proprietor of barges; Abraham Vandervoord, who is buried in St John the Baptist Church graveyard. The building however was originally called 'The Great House'. It was regularly used in its early life by the Courts of the Manor of Prittlewell.The Shrubbery, the oldest of all the parks in Southend, became privately owned in 1793 until 1883, when it was acquired by the town. It consists of merely 3 acres but provides visitors a relaxing walk through shaded paths from Clifftown Terrace down to the seafront on Western Esplanade.1795The Caroline cold and warm sea water baths opened. Brighton and Margate had the march on a young seaside town such as Southend. There offer at the time would be in the shape of baths that would not only provide non-tidal water entertainment but some supposed healing qualities. Not surprisingly therefore along the newly emerging South End seafront, just east of the Hope and Ship pubs opened a new baths named after a new Princess Caroline who had just married the King. A few years later she would grace the town with its first Royal visit.Grand Ball, the Capital (Royal) Hotel on top of Pier Hill had undergone extensive modification which included an extension which would make it the plushest of hotels for many miles around. To celebrate the completion of the works and in good businessman-like fashion a Grand Ball was held on 8th July which provided a night of entertainment for 170 guests.1797The Napoleonic Wars brought about a real threat of attack to the eastern coast by the French, a new military district was set up with the headquarters based in Southend, and a strong naval force under Admiral Nelson was stationed at the Nore.MutinyontheNore.GreatexcitementanduneasinessprevailedowingtotheoutbreakofamutinyamongseamenoftheFleet stationedattheNore,thenpreparingforoperationsagainsttheDutch.TherevoltfirstoccurredatPortsmouth,andwasappeased, butitbrokeoutagaininamoreseriousformintheThames.Themutineers,ledbyaseaman,namedParker,dispossessedthe officersoftheircommands;theshipsweremooredinalinefromSouthendtoSheernessandintercoursewithLondonstopped.The mutineersaresaidtohavefrequentlycomeashoreatSouthendandvisitedthe'Ship'althoughtheEastNorfolkMilitiawere encampedatGreatWakeringatthetimetopreventsailorsoftherebelfleetlanding.Lackofprovisionscausedthementoraidthe farmhousesofKentandEssex,andthisscarcity,withtheimpossibilityofthemenbeingabletonavigatetheirownvessels,brought aboutthesurrenderofthemutineers.Parkerwashangedandeighteenoftheotherswereshot.Severalshipssubsequentlyformed part of the British fleet which shattered the Dutch Navy at Camperdown, the spirit and gallantry of the men being highly praised.