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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 3
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary  continued

   Bish Webb was not to be deterred, and possibly by now it would have been difficult for him to draw back. On 25th August, 1857, he issued a printed circular1 to the Nobility, Clergy and Gentry of the County of Kent, reminding them (again, perhaps, not very tactfully) that "while each of the surrounding Counties of Sussex, Surrey, Middlesex and Essex possesses its Archaeological Society—Kent possesses none; and a proposal, made so long ago as 1854, to establish such a Society, has met with so small amount of favor that no result has ensued." Here he was being a bit disingenuous; and when he went on to say that nevertheless the County was not lacking in matters of archaeological interest, of which he instanced several, it is probable that some of the Nobility, Clergy and Gentry felt the information to be gratuitous and unnecessary. Bish Webb described himself in the circular as Honorary Secretary to the Surrey Archeological Society, but although the Council of that Society had expressed itself as willing, if acceptable to the County of Kent, to recommend an extension of their association to Kent, the active campaigning for the proposed joint society was the work not of the Surrey Society but of Bish Webb and a few of his friends, from Kent as well as from Surrey, who had formed themselves into an ad hoc committee.
   No doubt some of the recipients of the circular were interested, many were indifferent, but a few were incensed.

Amongst the latter was Larking. He wrote at once to Bish Webb (on 26th August) charging him "with gratuitous intrusion into our County, disturbing its peace, and damaging the cause of Science." He said that he would accept no more letters from Bish Webb and three days later returned one unopened.
   It was unfortunate for Larking that the Mereworth Castle meeting, which was to have been held just at this time, had to be postponed, because of the illness of Lady Falmouth. Bish Webb’s machinations, according to Larking, continued (if Webb’s attitude at this time was zealous rather than tactful, Larking’s, it must be admitted, was enthusiastic rather than charitable), but support came from across the southern border of the county, for Blaauw, the Honorary Secretary of the Sussex Archaeological Society, strongly urged an independent Kent Society, and promised every support.
At last the Inaugural Meeting took place at Mereworth Castle on 19th September, 1857. Viscount Falmouth was in the chair, and the others present were the Marquis Camden, K.G., the Earl Amherst, the Hon. and Rev. Sir Francis Stapleton, Bart., Charles Wykeham Martin, M.P., James Whatman, M.P., Edward Hussey, George Warde Norman, the Rev. W. J. Moore Brabazon, the Rev. Middleton Onslow, and the

1 There is a copy of it amongst the Roach Smith papers in the Society’s collections.

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