Chatham (Chat'tam; Ceteham, ' village of cottages '), a municipal and parl, borough, river-port, and naval arsenal of Kent, on the right bank of the Medway, at the upper part of its estuary, 30 miles ESE. of London. It forms almost one continuous town with Rochester (q.v.) on the west, but itself has few objects of interest. It owes its importance to its naval and military establishments situated at Brompton, a suburb on high ground overlooking the Medway. There is also a large convict establishment. The Chatham fortified lines are the frequent scenes of fleld-operations, sham fights, and reviews. The dockyard, founded by Elizabeth before the threatened invasion of the Spanish Armada, was in 1662 removed to its present site. In 1667 the Dutch, under De Ruyter, sailed up the Medway, and, in spite of the fire from the castle, destroyed much shipping and stores. In a military point of view, the lines of detached forts connected with Chatham constitute a fortification of great strength; and the whole is regarded as a flank defence for London. In or near Chatham are Fort Pitt, a military hospital and strong fort; Melville Hospital, for marines and sailors; barracks for infantry, marines, artillery, and engineers; a park of artillery; etc. Chatham is one of the principal royal shipbuilding establishments in the kingdom. The dockyard is nearly two miles in length; and the whole is traversed in every direction by tramways for locomotives. Three great wet-docks, with a water area of 67 acres, on reclaimed marsh land were completed in 1883 after the labour of 17 years, and at a total cost of about £3,000,000. In the navy estimates provision is made for about 5000 artisans and labourers. There are statues of Lieutenant Waghorn, a native of Chatham, and the pioneer of the ' overland route' to India, and of General Gordon (1890); but Chatham's most cherished memories are of Charles Dickens. Pop. (1851) 28,424; (1871) 45,792; (1901) 78,755; of these 37,057 were in the municipal borough, which was constituted in 1891. The parliamentary borough returns one member.
Chatham, (1) a town of Ontario, on the Thames, 67 miles SW. of London by rail, with mills and foundries, soap and candle works. Pop. 9000. - (2) A port of entry in the north of New Brunswick, on the Miramichi, 6 miles NE. of New-castle, with a good harbour, shipyards, foundries, a Catholic cathedral, and a college. Pop. 6000.