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required. Through their assiduity the Cornmarkets have very much increased within the last few years ; and here perhaps is the best market on the Southern side of London, In Croydon are excellent shops of every description: and the different handicrafts necessary or appertaining to trade are carried on in various parts of the town. A lace manufactory conducted by machinery was established at the palace, but is now discontinued. Here are also large bleaching grounds, for calicos and cottons, which serve also for the purpose of drying them after the operation of printing.
In the year 1801 an Act of Paliament was obtained for the making and maintaining a navigable Canal from or near the town of Croydon, to join the grand surrey canal, in the parish of St Paul, Deptford ; and also for the
purpose of supplying Croydon, Streatham, Dulwich, Norwood, and Sydenham, with water. For the completion of which, the Canal Com. pany, were empowered to raise by subscription £50,000 by shares of £100 each; and if that sum should be found insufficient, then £30,000 by additional shares ; or by mortgage : and in order to repay the subscribers, the company were authorized to charge the following rates and tonnage : For all timber, stone, coals, bricks, tiles, and all other goods and commodities, 3d. per Ton, per mile, except dung, chalk, marle, clay, lime, compost, and all other articles which are actually required for manure, and they were to be charged only at the rate of three halfpence per mile.
The Canal after a lapse of some years was finished, but the water-works were never at. tempted.—The present trade on the canal consists in the conveyance of english timber, firestone, fuller's-earth, lime, flints, gravel, &c. to London ; and from thence, fir-timber, deals, dung, yorkshire flag-stones, coals, &c.
An Iron Railway has been made from the basin to join that extending from Merstham to Wandsworth ; which has encreased the business of the canal; and if the present trade of it be not sufficient to remunerate the Subscribers, the work is of important utility to the public in the conveyance of heavy articles ; such as strong gravel, and fints for the repairs of the high roads about London : which articles were not procured from a distance before this canal was opened for public use.
Such then are the trading interests of the place which we have undertaken to represent; and to conclude this department of our history, it may be truly asserted, with respect to the commerce of Croydon, that in the process of time, industry has produced competition ; competition, improvement; and improvement, excellence.
In the year 1800, Mr. Fly built a Theatre upon Crown-hill, which was neatly fitted up with upper and lower boxes, pit and gallery, nearly on the plans then existing of the London Houses. Not many towns, perhaps, in the country, have a theatre exceeding this in neatness, and convenience. It was for many years under the management of Mr. Thornton, who, with a very good company, seldom failed to gratify the inhabitants of this populous town.
The theatre has lately been sold to Mr. Elliston, of the Surrey theatre, and is now engaged by Mr. Beverley, who keeps it open
five or six weeks during the months of October and November. Through the medium of compe
tent performers; he endeavours to entertain his audience with every new production of the stage ; and, if he should not find himself so amply remunerated as his predecessors were, it may be that many of the good people of Croydon, at this time of pecuniary pressure, find it necessary, in paying a rigid attention to the busy concerns of trade, to forego the delights of the drama.
At Croydon, are two very spacious and convenient rooms for this purpose, having orchestras and proper accommodation for the band, One of these rooms is at the King's Arms inn, and the other at the Grey-hound, where the gentry of the town, and its vicinity, have a monthly ball, with cards for the amusement of those who may not be disposed to join the dance. The expenses are defrayed by subscription, and the assemblies are held on the Monday after every full moon.
For the amusement of gentlemen, who may be inclined occasionally to pass an hour at this pleasing game, Mr. Boon, at the Greyhound has fitted up a room, and provided a very good table at great expense. The terms are, for each game, in the day time 3d, at night 6d. on account of fire and candles.
At Mr. Wbiting's also is another table, where a person is always in attendance to mark the game. The terms are the same as at the Grey-hound.
For those who are partial to this strong and healthy field diversion, Croydon is the centre of attraction, being situated in the midst of a fine sporting country, in which are several noted packs of Fox-hounds and Harriers. In the parish is Mr. Maberly's famous pack of fox-hounds, kept at Shirley ; at Croham also Mr. Thomas Meager keeps a pack of harriers. At the Oaks, about three miles distant from the town, is the Earl of Derby's celebrated pack of Stag-hounds. At Merstham, six miles distant, Mr. Jolliffe keeps a pack of foxhounds; at Beddington, two miles, and at Sanderstead, three miles from Croydon, are packs of harriers.