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the purpose for which the edifice was intended. It is much too small, and we must say that in our opinion a building more adequate to the purpose might have been constructed at the same expense. It is of brick, covered with roman cement; it has a small pediment in front, next to the High-street, having a turret and a bell at the top. The interior consists of two floors; on the lower one of which may be found a plentiful supply of butcher's meat, bacon, cheese, vegetables, and sundry articles; on the upper one, which is nearly level with the houses in the High-street, and supported upon arches ; purchasers may be accommodated with butter, fruit, eggs, fowls, &c. Both markets are under the direction of the trustees of Waste Lands, and thus the inhabitants of Croydon are abundantly supplied with all kinds of provisions.
LITTLE could be said by ancient writers respecting the trade of this place; still however, in former times Croydon was a town of some trade, and the commodities chiefly in request were Oatmeal and Charcoal; for the purchase of these, the markets were regularly attended by the London dealers and Innkeepers. Large quantities of Oatmeal were made here; and the Charcoal was made from the wood upon the adjoining hills, of which we are informed there was great abundance.
But since, by means of good turnpike roads, the Canal, and the Railway, a better communication has been made through Croydon, between the interior of the County and the Metropolis, the country has been opened to trade; and men of industry, perseverance, and property have embarked as merchants in a general course of business. They take off the produce of the Country, such as corn, seeds, hops, &c. and in return, supply both the town and neighbourhood with such articles as are principally
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 print ing.
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 Company, 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 attempted. 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 flints 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