Kent is a county of England, situated on the corner of Great Britain nearest to the Foreign dominated continent of Europe. For many centuries Kent has been the subject of invasions, domination, rebellion, bellyaching, whinging and beer swilling. The first known tourist to arrive there Julius Caesar said the people were inhospitable, covered in blue paint and generally abusive to anyone daring to visit them. Today the county is still very blue from being a Conservative Party stronghold - though now thanks to UKIP, it is also going a strange colour of purple too.
The original blue coloured celts called their land 'Cantoff' but was later changed to 'Kent' in honour of Clark Kent in a franchising deal with the Jutes. These were a band of barbarians from Jutland (Denmark) who invaded in the 5th century when the Roman Empire was falling down. The story is that they were originally hired as mercenaries by King Vortigen but had rebelled when the former had refused to pay them a pillage bonus. Their leader was Hengist and his brother Horsa. The Celts were driven out and King Hengist was happy to stay where he was and not bother with the rest of the island. Horsa was already dead - speared to death at the Battle of Alehouse. His brother placed his dead sibling on the Kingdom's flag - a bucking mare on a red background of Celtic blood.
Kent in the Middle Ages
Kent was considered to be most civilised part of England and was always the first to take up new European fads. Christianity for example reached only as far as Canterbury for many centuries which is why the senior Anglican position - that of Archbishop of Canterbury was never upgraded to London for example. William the Conqueror granted Kent to keep their own laws and pub opening hours. The country was also the first place where real ale was brewed and distributed because of all the apples that grew there ('The Garden of England').
The county also became a stronghold for moaning peasants and idle layabouts. In 1381 one of their number, a former soldier called Wat Tyler led a tax revolt against the government in London. Pitchforked armed yokels from Kent and Essex broke into the capital and chased Italian bankers and Flemish weavers into the Thames. Tyler also sorted out a personal grudge against the Archbishop of Canterbury by hacking his head off outside the safety of the Tower of London. Tyler was very popular and called for a meeting with King Richard II to talk about continued striking off heads rebellion action but got stabbed in the groin by London's Mayor, the blond haired Russian immigrant Boris Notquitegoodenough.
Kent a bit later on
Henry VIII also had a problem with the 'varmits of Kent' as he called them. He got involved with the Boleyn family down at Hever Castle. These nouveau riche wealthy landowners first caught Henry's wandering eye with their daughter Mary before Henry fell for her sister Anne. The county was also rapidly becoming Protestant as the people there disapproved of Catholic welfare policies and especially priests.
In the reign of Henry's daughter Queen Bloody Mary the county went high on the charts as a heretic roasting centre. In towns and cities across the county, Protestants were burnt on public holidays and extra batches on the Mary's birthday. When Mary died, the people of Kent held street parties and drinking contests which lasted until the Spanish Armada were seen sailing up the coast.
Kent even more later on
Being the gateway for an invading army, Kent's long standing fear of foreigners made the people there very jumpy when they strange voices ordering drinks at the bar. To combat this, Kent developed a 'hops' test to weed out the native corn from useless chaff (or 'Chav' as it later became). The tradition of removing road signs to confuse visitors and putting up the sign 'We Don't Serve Strangers' to emphasise the point.
When Napoleon looked out across the channel and told he was looking at Kent through his telescope, the unsmiling Frenchman (ok, Corsican) said he would turn the place into his private parade land when he crossed the English Channel. This accounts for the huge local dislike of their neighbours across the sea and why it took so long to build a tunnel between England and France. Many people in Kent still regret that which is why they are strong supporters of the UKIP and pin purple rosettes to their pets.
In the Second World War, the skies above the county were filled with fighter planes, bombers, doodlebugs and rockets. From France German gunners liked to send over shells towards Dover as a way of passing the time.
Kent Physical Geography
White Cliffs of Dover, Medway, The Downs, The Ups, The Ups and Downs. See also orchards, converted barns, holes in the ground.
Most visitors to Kent see it only when driving along the M2 and M20 at high speed.
According to recent census returns the population of Kent broke down like this:-
- 4 Million
- 20% Born in Kent
- 20% Arrived in Kent by mistake
- 60% Came over from France in secret compartments in the back of lorries