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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 7
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

Creature’s at his dirty work again." Bish Webb was nothing if not persistent, and he decided that his committee should meet again on 26th November, giving as his reason for a further meeting that, on 22nd October, the question of a union between Surrey and. Kent was left undecided, the Chairman declining to give a casting vote—not surprisingly, seeing that on neither division had there been an equality of votes. In Kent it was suspected that Bish Webb would try to pack the meeting, but several of the Kent representatives went with clear instructions from Larking, and indulged in pretty plain speaking. Crosby again faithfully sent an account of the meeting to the Kent Society. It was a long meeting: "Some people went before the division, bored out with the twaddling of some old prosers, who went off from the subject, to lecture on Archaeology in general." Finally, the committee decisively threw out the proposal by 26 votes to 13, and no more is heard of it. Most of the Kent supporters of the United Counties Society joined the Kent Archeological Society, and, indeed, a few had already joined both. Bish Webb came to our first Annual General Meeting on 30th July of the following year, whether to. find fault or whether to hold out the olive branch, is uncertain; Larking, I am afraid, imputed the baser motive to him, especially as Bish Webb did not make himself known. However, the press of business and of people could easily account for that, and Bish Webb’s death in 1859 prevented any other chance of a meeting and reconciliation between 

the two men. At no time, apparently, did their estrangement prevent the growth of a cordial relationship between the two County Societies.
   Apart from the Surrey or, more accurately, the Bish Webb threat, and trouble with the printer, all went well with the Society’s affairs during the remaining months of 1857. By the end of the year the membership stood at 446. Some of the questions which were asked about membership reflect a state of society quite remote from that of 1957; for example, may ladies join the Society?; and would it be permissible to propose the son of a tradesman? To the second question Larking answered "Of course," and to the former "I had hoped that ladies would grace us by their presence "; indeed, following the gallant custom of Sussex, the Kent Rules at this time provided that any lady desirous of becoming a member of the Society need not suffer the hazards of the ballot. The interim committee met on several occasions, to revise the rules, and to organize the Inaugural Meeting. On 20th January, 1858, the Maidstone Museum (the Charles Museum, as it was then called) was formally opened, and a few weeks later the Museum trustees offered to provide the Society with accommodation, and with the services of a curator, for £25 a year. Thus was begun a connection which still happily continues. From Professor Stanley, Larking extracted a promise to write the introductory paper for the Society’s

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