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eastern coast of the island; and step by step does it | ledge that London is the true metropolis of the world, become there wedded to the steam-boat,-each one and not Paris, with the pretensions of its journalists being a helpmate to the other. We find this about to and coteries.” The Parsees, three native gentlemen become the case at Aberdeen and at Dundee; we find it of Bombay, who visited England a few years ago, thus already the case on the Forth, on the Tyne, on the express themselves on the same subject :-"When we Wear, on the Tees, and on the Humber; it will, ere came within about five miles of London, we were surlong, be the case at Berwick, at Goole, and at Grimsby. prised at the amazing number of vessels, from the Farther south we come to Boston and Lynn, both of humble barge to the more beautiful ships and steamers which will, in the course of a few months, be placed of all descriptions. The colliers were most numein railway communication with the heart of England rous, and vessels were anchored close to each other, and with the metropolis ; and if the merchants of those and the river seemed to be almost covered with vessels ; ports have the usual sharpness which a sense of self- and the masts and yards gave it the appearance of a interest gives, they will not be slow to make their forest, at a distance. Indeed, there were to be found steamers worthy of their railways. Coming yet farther ships from all parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and south, we find at Yarmouth and Lowestoft indications | America ; and a great number of steamers ply about of the same thing going on. The Norfolk Railway in all directions, filled with passengers.
None of our Company are driving their Yarmouth terminus farther countrymen can form an idea of this noble river, and and farther east, until it will at length most probably the shipping on it." be as near the steam-boat pier as in many other cases. This “noble river, and the shipping on it,” demand At Lowestoft the harbour is being brought into so a little of our attention, in respect to the object here efficient a state, and railway projects are opening such immediately under view—the contrast between watera commercial career with the interior, that Yarmouth traffic of past times and of present times. is beginning to look sharp' after a rapidly rising Up the river, the contrast presents only simple neighbour. At Ipswich and at Harwich, again, the phases. The jump was from the small row-boat to the same commercial drama is being played : old habits small steamer ; for as to a sail, except in some of the and old modes of conducting business are suffering heavy barges, it is hardly to be seen or to be expected modification, and the steam-engine is boldly marching above bridge. The boats of one, or two, or three, or into both towns, both sea-ward and land-ward. Ips- four pairs of oars; the boats used for ferrying at so wich has now railway communication with the metro-much per head, and those used for small parties at a polis and with Bury St. Edmunds; and steamers go rowing-match; the light-looking semi-gondola boats, from thence to London. Harwich, however, will, by with awnings and gaily-painted fittings, which at one and by, probably surpass most of these East Anglian time so frequently bore holiday parties up to or in the ports, as to steam transit; for it is so well situated, neighbourhood of Richmond, are known to all who and is so directly in the route from London towards have been familiar with the Thames. And who, in Holland and the Rhine, that when a railway is made the present day, does not know the up-river steamers from thence to Colchester (and it has been unlucky for which are so incessantly passing and repassing? The Harwich that the contests of rival companies have so foral family of steamers,--the ‘Myrtle,' the ‘Primlong delayed such a necessary work), we may expect rose,' the “Violet,' the ‘Daisy,' the Cowslip, the to see an important rail-and-steamer traffic carried on • Blue-Bell,' the ‘Pink, and other equally delicate there.
names; the family of Citizens;' the luminous family
of “Twilight,' 'Daylight,' 'Starlight,' and MoonTHE THAMES.
light:' the nuptial party, consisting of the • Bride,' the At length we come to the mighty Thames—that • Bachelor,' the ‘Bridegroom, the ‘Bridemaid,' the busy stream, where more ships are to be seen than in Wedding Ring,' and the Matrimony- everybody any other river in the world—where steaming spreads knows them. Once upon a time, and that time not almost as fast as railways, and laughs at the attempts very many years distant, the earliest of these steamers of railways to supersede it-where the very boatmen, charged sixpence from London to Westminster; then a despite of the steamers, contrive to pick up a living, stride was made to reach Chelsea for the same money, though no one knows very clearly how. The shipping and the Westminster fare was lowered to fourpence ; of the Thames is, perhaps, of all the great features, the then the whole distance became a fourpenny trip: this one which most strikes foreign tourists in England. continued for a long time; but at length the 'wooden' “What a throng of ships,” says Von Raumur, " and boats beat the 'iron,' by reducing the Westminster what restless activity! Paris, with its few scattered fare to twopence: next this very fare was halved to boats on the Seine, is nothing compared with this. the marvellously small sum of one penny: by degrees, .... From Woolwich to Greenwich activity con
the Chelsea boats all came down to a twopenny tinues to increase, till we approach the docks, and fare; and now, the insect family of 'Bee,' 'Ant,' and hasten through forests of ships. What I saw of the Cricket,' content themselves with one halfpenny, as same kind at Havre, Bordeaux, and Marseilles, can be the fare from the Adelphi to London Bridge ! compared but to a single chamber cut out of these The Greenwich, and Woolwich, and Blackwall enormous palaces.
Here we see and acknow- steamers show, in a striking degree, how steam transit
concurrently for the most part, masterless men, and men of all with railway transit; but the kinds of occupations and faculties, and many boys of object of the present paper- small age and of little skill, and being persons out the contrast between Sail and of the rule and obedience of any honest master or Steam-will be better eluci-governor, and who for the most part of their time used dated by dwelling a little more dancing, carding, and other unlawful games.” fully on the Gravesend trade. boats, too, had degenerated, and had become "so
Mr. Cruden, in his recent shallow and tickle, that thereby great danger of drown
“ History of Gravesend," has | ing had ensued, and was likely to ensue, unless speedy industriously collected a number of curious details remedy should be provided.” The “speedy remedy” respecting the river transit from Gravesend to London was sought by certain restrictions as to the persons in past times; from which we gather some memorials who navigated the boats, as to the size and form of the of a state of things that seems almost antediluvian. boats, and as to fares.
In early days Gravesend derived importance from two From these regulations we find that, about three ferries, or river passages
the cross-ferry,' across centuries ago, there were passenger barges, carrying to Tilbury; and the long ferry,' up to London. about twenty-four persons at twopence a-head; and Charters relating to these ferries existed so far back as tilt-boats, carrying about twenty persons at fourpence the time of the Normans. At one time we hear of com- per head. In 1573 Queen Elizabeth gave a charter plaints that the boatmen "did take from passengers of incorporation to Gravesend ; and one of the first unjust fares against their will :” the legal fare being acts of the corporation was to regulate the Long Ferry. twopence up to London; and, at another, the Graves. The barges and the tilt-boats had their regular“ turns," end boatmen complained that the London people tried or order of precedence in starting ; the profits going to to rob them of their vested rights in the 'long ferry.' the owners, and the corporation receiving a fee. The vessel in which the passage was made, was for- of the corporate regulations, made in 1595, sets forth merly called a barge. In a ballad, called ' London that there were “ tilt-boats, lighthorsemen, and wherLackpenny,' supposed to have been written about A.D. ries, which, for their own private gain, take upon 1400, the balladist thus narrates his unsuccessful themselves to ply and carry passengers before the attempt to get aboard a Gravesend barge at Billings- common barge be furnished and departed; by reason gate, for want of that necessary commodity-money: whereof many go in tilt-boats, lighthorsemen, and " Then hyed I to Belynges Gate,
wherries, and leave the barge unfurnished." To And one cried, 'Hoo, go we hence l'
remedy this grievance, therefore, it was ordered that I prayed a bargeman, for God's sake,
none of these interlopers should "ply or take into any That he would spare me my expence. • Thou step'st not here,' quoth he, 'under ij pence.'
their boats any passengers, until the Gravesend barge I lyst not yet bestow my almes dede,
shall be first furnished with passengers, launched forth, Thus lacking mony I could not spede."
and gone." In 1555 the Thames boating arrangements under- In the early part of the next century the barges went a revision. An act was passed in that year, furiously battled against the tilt-boats; and there were which set forth that the wherrymen and watermen were, continual disputes between the respective owners, and
also between the corporation of Gravesend and that of | unaltered for more than half a century; and it seems London, on matters connected with the Long Ferry. probable that they were as comfortable, all things conThe last Gravesend barge was built about 1640: the sidered, as river sailing-boats were likely to have been. swifter and more commodious tilt-boats having by From time to time new boats were started, independent degrees frowned them out of favour, just as a swifter of the regular Gravesend ferry sailing-boats, and offersteamer will supersede a slower one at the present day. ing certain supposed advantages over them. For in
A voyage to Gravesend in 1736, in the then prevalent stance, one Mr. Dominy, in 1789, announced a new tilt-boat, an improvement on the barge of former times, enterprise, in the following terms :—“Mr. John Dowill give an amusing contrast with the swift and com- miny, of Gravesend, begs leave to acquaint such ladies fortable steam trips of our day. John Sherwin, in a and gentlemen as would wish to take an exeursion by pamphlet called the 'Gotham Swan,' thus describes water to and from London to Gravesend, that he has his journey:-“I set out from home at half-an-hour built a new and commodious yacht, called the Princess after four o'clock, in order for Maidstone Fair. I got Royal, fitted up in an elegant manner, for the reception to Billingsgate by seven, took water at eight for Graves- of genteel and creditable people only, which will sail end, but fell short by a mile and a half: the watermen to-morrow morning, at six o'clock, and continue sailing landed their passengers at three o'clock, except myself, during the season, at 1s. each passenger. It is Mr. wife, and son ; for John Bull advised me to sit in the Dominy's fixed resolution to carry no hop-pickers, or boat, because I was lame, for he would strive to run to people going a harvesting, on any account whatever." town. We did so, and I and my son laid down on the Mr. Dominy evidently had a soul above the vulgar, straw, covering ourselves with the tilt, and I fell asleep. although his charge was “ only a shilling a head." In half an hour after, he came and helped me out of the In 1816 the first steam-boat on the Gravesend station boat, over a lime-hoy, and had much ado to get me made its appearance—the 'Margery,' (Cut, No. 4,) of ashore; telling us, at the same time, he could not get seventy tons burden, and fourteen horse-power; and to Gravesend till three hours after, the tide ran so it ran down to Gravesend one day, and back the next. strong against them." (Cut, No. 3.)
A second steamer was established in the same year; it There was a tour taken, about the same time, by was the “Thames,' and was planned so as to go and Hogarth and a few choice friends, in which a river trip return in the same day; the advertisement offered to Gravesend formed part of the proceedings. Mr. sundry alluring inducements to river tourists, such as Forrest, one of the party, was made historian for the the following :-“ Ladies accompanied by gentlemen, occasion. He says :—" Saturday, May 27th, 1732, in large parties of pleasure, passage free, Sundays only we set out with the morning, and took our departure excepted. Refreshments provided, tea, bottled porter, from the Bedford Arms Tavern, Covent Garden, to the &c. Passengers bringing refreshments will be assisted tune of. Why should we quarrel for riches ?' The first with boiling water, and milk provided, in readiness on land we made was Billingsgate, where we dropped board.” There is so much of a holiday-making tone anchor at the Dark House. ... Here we con- about this advertisement, that we may fairly look tinued till the clock struck one, then set sail in a
upon the year 1816 as that in which the rage for Gravesend boat we had hired for ourselves. Straw Gravesend trips commenced, however humble it may was our bed, and a tilt our covering. The wind blew have been at the outset. hard at S.E. by E. We had much rain and no sleep, At the time when the steamers started, there were for about three hours. We soon arrived at Gravesend, twenty-six sailing passage-boats between London and and found some difficulty in getting ashore, occasioned Gravesend, varying from twenty-two to forty-five tons by an unlucky boy's having placed his boat between burden. They gradually declined after the introduction us and the landing-place, and refusing us passage over of the steamers. Year after year some among the his vessel; but as virtue surmounts all obstacles, we number fell off. The steam-boats boasted of carrying happily accomplished this adventure, and arrived at 27,000 passengers in 1821, and nearly three times that Mr. Bramble's at six. There we washed our faces and number in 1825. hands, and had our wigs powdered; then drank coffee, The increase in the trade induced the Corporation of eat toast and butter, paid our reckoning, and set out at Gravesend to improve their Town-quay and Landingeight.” The pleasure-seekers then went on to Rochester place; and the building of the “ Town Pier’ at Gravesand Chatham, and, a day or two afterwards, returned end, and steam-boat piers at London-bridge, notably to Gravesend; and then—"At eight we arose, break- | increased the facilities for the traffic. The year 1834 fasted, and walked about the town. At ten went into witnessed the demise of the sailing-packets: they a boat we had hired, with a truss of clean straw, a bottle were killed by steam. The astounding spread of of good wine, pipes, tobacco, and a match. We came steam transit to Gravesend since that year is known merrily up the river, and, quitting our boat at Bil. to all. In 1833 the number of persons conveyed had lingsgate, got into a wherry that carried us through risen to 290,000 in the year. After that came, in bridge, and landed at Somerset Water-gate."
succession, the formation of the Terrace Pier; the About 1737 the tilts (awnings over an undecked establishment of the “Star' Company, in opposition vessel) were abandoned, and larger sailing-boats with to the Diamond,' or Old Company; the building of a deck introduced. These decked boats remained almost the pier at Rosherville ; the rebuilding of the Terrace Pier, and the sale of it to the Corporation ; the changes ports along the southern coast, and how far it contrasts effected by the opening of the Blackwall Railway ; with the movements of former times. Nothing can be and the more recent effect of the opening of the better than Fielding's 'Voyage to Lisbon,' to show Rochester Railway. By the year 1840 the steam- how a voyager fared in getting from London to Falboat passengers had reached a million annually; and mouth a century ago. in 1844 a million and a half were conveyed in four The great novelist, worn out, having tried in vain months !
various remedies for a malady under which he suffered, It is the steam-engine which has wrought the changes was advised to take a voyage to Lisbon ; and he seobservable at Gravesend; and the same may be said at cured a berth on board a ship bound for that port. other parts of the river. Sixty thousand passengers The ship was to sail “punctually" from the Tower on have been known to go to Greenwich by steam-boat a certain day, and on that day (June 26, 1754,) Fielding in one day, in Easter or Whitsun week! The Irish Rail- went to the Tower Wharf, and was thence lifted into a way Commissioners, while collecting details respecting wherry, which conveyed him off to the ship. The bruthe amount of short holiday traffic a few years back, tality of the boatmen and sailors of those times is most make the following statement :-“We learn that each strikingly shown in what passed while, poor Fielding of the two Greenwich Steam-packet companies carried, was being carried into the wherry, rowed to the ship, last year, about 400,000 passengers ; that the Woolwich and lifted up in a sort of arm-chair: he was very ill, Old Company, calling at Greenwich, carried more than and his countenance exceedingly ghastly. He says, 100,000 Greenwich passengers, besides 192,000 to "In this condition, I ran the gauntlope (so, I think, Woolwich ; and the New Woolwich Company carried | I may justly call it) through rows of sailors and waternearly 100,000 passengers between Woolwich, Black- men, few of whom failed of paying their compliments wall, and London-bridge. To these are to be added the to me by all manner of insults and jests on my misery.” many thousands who pass these places to Gravesend, Fielding soon found that the ship would not sail that Margate, Ramsgate, Southend, Dover, Herne Bay, &c.; day; so he had to provide himself a dinner, of which he and, above all, the multitudes, greatly exceeding one tells us the quality was very low, and the cost very high. million, who during the last year passed by the railway The next day the captain appeared, and told him the to Greenwich."
ship could not start till two days afterwards, without Those who are familiar with the traffic of the Thames stating the “why or the wherefore.” Here then he was for the last ten or fifteen years, will have no difficulty obliged to stop, “in the confines of Wapping and in calling to mind the wonderful progress which steam Redriffe, tasting a delicious mixture of the air of both has made in opening new means of intercourse with these sweet places, and enjoying the concord of sweet places which were before in want of such facilities. sounds of seamen, watermen, fish-women, oysterThe Woolwich steamers not only accommodate that women, and all the vociferous inhabitants of both town, but embark and land passengers at about a shores." Fielding was afraid that he might want dozen other piers between that point and Westminster- medical assistance on board ; and the captain comforted bridge. The Gravesend steamers not only take down | him with assurances, that “ he had a pretty young fellow their cargoes of living beings to that place, but they on board, who acted as his surgeon, as I found he stop at Erith, and Greenhithe, and Grays: thus likewise did as steward, cook, butler, and sailor.” establishing new centres of pleasure traffic. Again, At length on June 30th, four days after the
apgoing beyond Gravesend, we find that an immense pointed time, the ship sailed down the river, and anamount of steam-boat traffic has been actually created chored opposite Gravesend till the evening of the next by the opening of the Gravesend and Rochester Rail- day. On July 1st they sailed to the Nore; and on the way; for the two modes of conveyance, acting in next day they had to anchor in the Downs, near Deal.; conjunction, suffice to carry a passenger from London On the 4th the ship weighed anchor; but after to the Medway for twelve or fifteenpence.
buffetting against the wind for four hours, the captain Proceeding yet farther towards the mouth of the had to give it up, and re-anchor very near his old spot. great river, we find the saine process of steam advance- When the wind-bound passengers wanted anything ment going on. At Sheerness, at Southend, at Herne from the shore, they found that the Deal people did Bay, and at Margate, regular daily trips are now made, not forget to charge for it. Here they remained till instead of the uncertain and lingering passages of the the 8th, on which day they actually and positively hoys of former days. The old Margate hoy, which was sailed. During the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, they were in use for many years after Margate had become a sailing from Deal to the Isle of Wight, making such fashionable watering-place, was a small sloop, which way as the winds and tides would let them ; and on carried her group of passengers to their destination in the afternoon of the 11th they anchored opposite about a couple of days, sometimes in a long summer's Ryde. Here, then, was Fielding deposited at the Isle dar a longer day than was occupied by the fall of of Wight, fifteen days after he had embarked at the Vulcan from Olympus to Lemnos.
Tower—a pretty taste of voyaging in those times !
The great painter of manners a century ago next THE SOUTHERN PORTS.
gives an amusing description of the muddy reception Let us see what is doing by steam to and from the which Ryde gave him, for want of a landing-pier; and