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William Camden wrote of the island in 1607 that it was so low that it was often quite flooded, except the hills, upon which the sheep have a place of safe refuge.The uniform flatness of Canvey suggests that these hills are likely to be the red hills of the Roman salt making industry, or the early makeshift sea defences constructed by some of the landowners around their farms.such that comparative spellings would also include Canefe, Kaneweye, Kaneveye and Koneveye.By the 12th century, Essex and subsequently Canvey were in the possession of Henry de Essex who inherited the land from his grandfather, Swein, son of Robert fitz Wymarch.

but periodical flooding continued to blight the small population of mostly shepherds and their fat-tailed variety of sheep for a further 300 years.The discovery of a Roman road found to terminate 109 yards (100 m) across the creek in neighbouring Benfleet suggests a means may have existed to facilitate the salt's distribution to Chelmsford and Colchester, and the recovery of rich items of pottery and glassware of a variety only matched elsewhere by excavations of port facilities suggests the Romans may also have exploited Canvey's location in the Thames for shipping.In 1607 the Elizabethan antiquarian William Camden noted in his work Britannia (a topographical and historical survey of all of Great Britain and Ireland) that Canvey Island (which he called Island Convennon) was documented in the 2nd century by the Alexandrian geographer Ptolemy.Excess water would have collected in the broad ditch and then been discharged into the river by the means of seven sluices (later known as Commissioners Dykes).that the peril of the mudflats below such shallow waters off the Canvey Island coast prompted the Romans to devise some form of beacon as a warning in the area.