(Latin, Cantium), the territory of the Kantii or Cantii; Old British, Kant, a corner or headland). In the reign of Queen Elizabeth Kent was so notorious for highway robbery, that the word signified a “nést of thieves.”
Some bookes are arrogant and impudent; So are most thieves in Christendome and Kent.
Taylor, the Water Poet (1630)
A man of Kent. One born east of the Medway. These men went out with green boughs to meet the Conqueror, and obtained in consequence a confirmation of their ancient privileges from the new king. They call themselves the invicti. The hops of East Kent are liked best.
A Kentish man. A resident of West Kent.
Holy Maid of Kent. Elizabeth Barton, who pretended to the gift of prophecy and power of miraches. Having denounced the doom and speedy death of Henry VIII. for his marriage with Anne Boleyn, she was executed. Sir Walter Scott (Abbot, xiii.) calls her “The Nun of Kent.” (See Fair [Maid of Kent]).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894