Kent, an important maritime county in the SE. of England, is bounded by the estuary of the Thames, the Strait of Dover, Sussex, the English Channel, and Surrey. Its greatest length is 64 miles; its greatest breadth, 38 miles; and its area 1624 sq. m., or 1,039,419 acres. The surface is for the most part hilly, except in the south-east, where lies a marshy tract, some 14 miles long by 8 broad, and in the north, where a line of marshes skirts the banks of the Thames and Medway ; these last are backed by a succession of wooded hills, stretching inland and gradually increasing in height until they culminate in the North Downs, a chalk range which traverses the middle of the county from west to east, attaining at Knocksholt Beeches, near Sevenoaks, a height of 782 feet above sea-level. Below these downs lies the Weald of Kent, a district abounding in beautiful scenery, and occupying nearly the whole southern side of the county. Of rivers in Kent, besides the Thames, the principal are the Medway, Stour, and Darent. The rich meadows of the Romney Marsh afford excellent pasturage for vast flocks of sheep. All branches of agriculture are extensively carried on, especially market-gardening and the growing of hops and fruit. Other industries are the manufacture of paper, bricks, and gunpowder. Large numbers of hands are employed in the government establishments at the Woolwich arsenal and the dockyards of Chatham and Sheerness; whilst at Ashford are the South-Eastern Railway, and at Whitstable and Faversham are important oyster-fisheries. Kent is divided into five lathes, and comprises 73 hundreds, the Cinque Ports of Dover, Hythe, Romney, and Sandwich, the cities of Canterbury and Rochester, and 18 municipal boroughs, the whole containing 435 civil parishes, almost entirely in the dioceses of Canterbury and Rochester. Maidstone is the assize town. Pop. (1801) 307,624 ; (1841) 549,353; (1881) 977,706 ; (1901) 1,351,849, of whom only 936,003 were within the 'administrative county,' Kent having given off 31 sq. m. to the 'county of London,' formed under the Local Government Act of 1888. Kent includes eight parliamentary divisions, and the parliamentary boroughs of Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Gravesend, Hythe, Maidstone, and Rochester, each returning one member. The other chief towns are Ramsgate, Margate, Folkestone, and Tunbridge Wells, all popular watering-places. Of its early inhabitants Kent has numerous traces in the shape of Roman roads, and many camps and barrows; at Aylesford and Hartlip Roman villas and baths have been discovered, and near the former place is a curious dolmen known as Kits Coity House. There are also the cathedrals of Canterbury and Rochester, the Norman fortress of the latter place, with those of Chilham and Dover, and the moated mansions of Hever (the home of Anne Boleyn), Ightham Mote, and Leeds Castle (where Richard II. was imprisoned). Amongst Kentish worthies have been Caxton the printer, Elizabeth Barton the 'nun of Kent,' Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir Francis Walsingham, Camden the antiquary, Sir Philip Sidney, Harvey the discoverer of the circulation of the blood, the 'judicious' Hooker, the Earl of Chatham and his son William Pitt, General Wolfe, Richard Barham, author of the Ingoldsby Legends, the historians Hallam and Grote, Charles Dickens, and Gordon Pasha. See the county histories of Hasted (4 vols. 1778-99 ; new and enlarged ed. 1886, etc.) and Dunkin (3 vols. 1856-58).