Kentish Man or Man of Kent


I suspect that by living in Kent, visiting this county, or reading about it, you have come across two terms for local people: Man of Kent or Kentish Man. Where did it come from and is there a difference between these names?

Apparently, this division has its origins as early as 515, but the exact genesis is not clear. The most popular theory is the geographical one.

Here are some theories

1.Geograficzna. The Medway River crosses Kent from top to bottom dividing the county into two. Apparently those who were born west of the river are Kentish Men, and those east of the river are People of Kent or Men of Kent.
2. Another geographical division concerns two dioceses and competition between them. Residents of the parish centered around Canterbury Cathedral are the Man of Kent, and those around Rochester Cathedral are the Kentish Men. The border passed through Rainham.

3. Historical. Men of Kent probably came from Saxon invaders in the Middle Ages, and Kentish Men are descendants of the kingdom of Jutish ruled by Hengista and Horsa. According to legend, when William the Conqueror marched through Kent, the men of Kent resisted him and won their privileges, and the Kentish Men fled, far away. Whether this is true is not known.

4. Social. Men of Kent is a nobility-derived part of society, and Kentish Men are mainly peasants and workers, located at the very bottom of the social border.

5. Another social saying that Kentish Man is a person who was born in Kent, but with non-Kent parents. Man of Kent, on the other hand, not only lives here, but also has Kentish ancestors.

According to several books I read, rivalry between the groups flourished, apparently since the invasion of William the Conqueror. I suspect that now only the oldest and few residents of Kent are still using this division, recognizing primarily the Medway as a border. However, even this division is no longer so obvious. Cities have grown on both sides, people have moved several times and hardly anyone lives where he was born.

The division doesn’t matter anymore, but it remained an interesting curiosity, right?

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