The Whitstable Oyster Fishery

By Beryl Couper , published December 1921


This fishery is probably the oldest in existence. We know that oysters were exported from Regulbium – the modern Reculver – as far back as the time of Julius Agricola, 80 A.D. Over the years silting up of the River Wantsume has concentrated the beds nearer to the mouth of the Thames. Ownership, too, has passed through many hands since its mention in the Domesday Book in the Hundred of the Manor of Whitstable. In 1793 the oyster fishers purchased the marine portion of the beds together with the royalty on the oyster beds and fisheries. This possession was secured by Act of Parliament and they became “The Company of Free Fishers and Dredgers of Whitstable”. By 1895 the company had grown and prospered, become open and operated on a commercial basis. Its shares were highly valued and difficult to obtain on the open market.

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Filed under: North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Whaling & Fishing

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