The Larkin monument is in memory of Charles Larkin (1775-1833), a Rochester auctioneer, for his work in promoting the Parliamentary Reform of 1832. This reform gave the vote to every occupant of a house with a rental value of more than £10. It was not entirely successful for (to an existing electorate of about 435,000 in England and Wales) it added less than 250,000 new voters, and actually cut out many who had voted before.
Charles Larkin died at his his home at Boley Hill, Rochester, aged 58, on September 12th, 1833. He was interred in the family vault at Gillingham. A monument was erected in his honour at Telegraph Hill, Higham, two years later, with the inscription:
The Friends of Freedom in Kent erected this Monument to the Memory of
In grateful testimony to his fearless and long
Advocation of Civil and Religious Liberty
And his zealous exertions in promoting the
Ever Memorable Measure of
However, the monument was not as sturdy as they hoped it would be, and by 1860 it had fallen into a state of disrepair. Benjamin Horne repaired the monument in 1869 and added another inscription:
"This monument was repaired and re-inscribed at the cost of Benjamin Worthy Horne, Esqre, of Mereworth, Kent, and of Russell Square, London. AD 1869"
Both inscriptions had faded by the early 20th century.
The monument can be reached through a gate off 'The Larches', Higham, on a currently very overgrown piece of land.