A. D Bayne.

Royal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) online

. (page 10 of 70)
Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 70)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

fifty men ; also a rectifying house. The oyster fishery on the river Colne,
granted to the free burgesses by Richard I., confirmed by subsequent
charters, and for the preservation of which Courts of Admiralty were and
are still occasionally held at Mersea Stone, about eight miles from the
borough, but now generally at the Moot Hall, afibrds employment to
about six hundred licensed dredgemen ; and numerous smacks are engaged
in conveying to London the oysters, for which there is a very great
demand, especially for those of Pyfleet, which are found in a small creek,
and are remarkable for their goodness and flavour. The river is navigable
to the suburb called the Hythe, where are a spacious quay and a custom
house. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday, the latter being
the principal, for corn and provisions, and also a "large mart for cattle and
sheep. The Market Place is on the north side of High Street, and is
commodiously arranged. The Corn Exchange, erected a few years since,
is a handsome building supported on columns. The fairs are on July 5th
and the following day ; July 23rd and two following days for cattle ; and
October 20th for cattle, and the three following days for general


The last parish in the hundred of Tendring, has a railway station. It is


a large parish, being tliirty-eiglit miles in circumference. The Manor of
Picotts, which takes its name from a family which held it in ancient times,
belongs to E. Reeve, Esq. ; Bovills, a title also derived from an owner in
the time of Henry II. to W. S. Lamb, Esq. ; and Martells Hall to Lord
Ashburton. The park, a good mansion, is the residence of J. P. Osborne,
Esq. The Church is a handsome modern structure, having been rebuilt
some years ago. The parish has the right of sending twelve free scholars
to Dedham Grammar School; and the poor have £2 10s. a-year from Love's


Though it has a customary market for corn and cattle on Thursdays, com-
prises but about twenty acres, and is only a hamlet of Mistley, which
forms, in fact, its eastern suburb, while Lawford constitutes the western.
With their fine ports and extensive quays they form, combined, a place of
considerable business ; the Stour, on whose southern bank they stand,
being accessible for vessels of 250 tons up to this point, and navigable
twenty miles farther up to Sudbury. It is at this spot that the river
begins to expand into a broad estuary, and it has been truly said that on
the first break of morning,

" When the waking sunbeams fringe
With gold the trembling waters,"
and we turn our gaze up the Stour, with the cliffs on the right wooded to
their summits, busy life awakening all along the spacious quays, where
many of the 500 vessels which belong to the port are beginning to move,
the scene is altogether the most picturesque to be found along this part
of the coast, abounding, as it does, with views of maratime life and rural
beauty. At the Domesday survey, Manningtree and a part of Mistley
were held by Adeliza, the half-sister of the Conqueror, but subsequently
went to an Augustine nunnery in Devonshire, and the other Manor of
Mistley belonged to the Priory of St. Osyth. After the Reformation the
property was granted away, and about 1680 it was purchased by Edward
Rigby, Esq., whose son built Mistley Hall. The pretty little hamlet, too,
known as Mistley Thorn, was the creation of this gentleman. He erected
fifty good dwellings there, made a quay, built granaries and warehouses,
and also a handsome Church, in place of the old one. The Bigby's were
succeeded by the Earls Rivers, who partially deserted the place ; and the
hall, which stood on an eminence about half-a-mile above the Stour, and
was surrounded by a park of 700 acres, extensive gardens and plantations,
was pulled down in 1845, the materials sold, and the property lotted out
to the highest bidders. This was regarded at the time as a misfortune to
the neighbourhood. It has been found, however, that ever since the
place has been growing in business and importance. The land thus set


free gave greater scope to industry — allowed commerce more elbow room
for its efforts. Dwellings, wharves, warehouses, maltings, and mills have
been built, and the population has largely increased.

Various good county seats adorn the neighborhood: Mistley Place,
occupied by E. Norman, Esq. ; the New Hall, by Robert Page, Esq. ;
Lawford Hall, a large mansion standing in a fine park, the home of Mrs.
Greene, the lady of the ancient manor ; and Lawford House, the elegant
residence of Thomas Nunn, Esq. The Chapel of Manningtree, in which
is a monument to Thomas Ormond, one of the martyrs of the time of
Queen Mary, was built about 1616, out of the ruins of the old one,
which stood on a rising ground near the site of the present, and it
was considerably enlarged some years ago. The curacy was consoli-
dated with Mistley up to 1840, but in that year it was constituted a
separate benefice. ' Anciently there was a guild here called Trinity
Guild, with an income of £8 5s. 4d., which passed into lay hands.
The Church of Lawford is an ancient structure, and the walls are still
ornamented with various elaborate old stone carvings.

The only charity at Manningtree is a house occupied by poor people
(formerly the workhouse), believed to have been given by — Smith
about 1680.

Richard Rigby, Esq., who died in 1732, directed by his will the
establishment of six almshouses, the inmates to have six chaldrons of
coals, twenty-four bushels of wheat, and twenty-four bushels of barley
or malt, out of the profits of the wharf; but 'the charity was not carried
out, and since the inquiry of the Charity Commissioners, a decree of
the Court of Chancery has directed the value of the coals, wheat, and
barley to be distributed amongst the poor parishioners.

A seaport, borough, and market town, having separate jurisdiction, locally
in the Hundred of Tendring, Union of Tendring, North Division of the
County of Essex, forty-two miles (north-east by east) from London. The
name of this place, which is expressive of circumstances connected with
its early history, is by €amden derived from the Saxon Harewic, signifying
a station or harbour for soldiers ; and from the same authority it is supposed
that during the time of the Romans, the Counts of the Saxon shore had a
stronghold, or castle, here, in which a force was stationed to repel the
Saxons and Danes, who at that time made frequent incursions from the
opposite coast. This opinion is in some degree confirmed by the remains
of a Roman camp and tumulus in the vicinity of the town, near which
coins and fragments of tessellated pavements have been found at various
times, and by the discovery of teeth and bones of large animals in the


soutliern cliff, which are by some antiquaries thought to be remains of
elephants brought into England by the Emperor Claudius. After the
departure of the Romans, Harwich, with the district adjoining, was
wrested from the Britons by Erchenwine, or Erchwine, a Saxon chief, who
held it under Octa, grandson of Hengist, till with the rest of the kingdom
of East Saxony, it fell into the possession of Egbert in 740. In 885, a
considerable battle was fought near this port between the fleet of Alfred
and sixteen Danish ships, which terminated in the entire defeat and
capture of the latter. In 1326, Prince Edward and his mother. Queen
Isabel, landed here from Hainault with a force of 2750 soldiers, and being
joined by several of the nobihty, and headed by Thomas de Brotherton,
Duke of Norfolk, then lord of the manor, and resident in the town,
proceeded to Bristol to make war against the King. In 1338, the same
Prince, then Edward III., embarked at this port, with a fleet of 500 sail
manned with archers and slingers, on his first expedition against France ;
and in the year following, the French, in retaliation, made an unsuccessful
attempt with eleven galleys to set fire to the town. In 1340, the French
navy, consisting of 400 ships, having been stationed near Sluys, in
Flanders, to intercept the King^s passage to France, Edward assembled
here his naval forces, and sailing on Midsummer eve, and forming with
the northern squadron, under the command of Lord Morley, encountered
the enemy, destroyed one-half of their ships, and killed or captured nearly
30,000 of their men. Henry YIII. visited Harwich in 1543 ; and in 1558,
preparations were made here for the reception of Philip, King of Spain,
on his arrival to celebrate his nuptials with Mary, Queen of England.
Queen Elizabeth was sumptuously entertained here in 1561 by the
Corporation, who escorted her as far as the windmill on her return. In
some of the naval engagements between the English and the Dutch, in
the reign of Charles II., the contending parties approached so near the
town as to render their operations visible to the spectators on the clifis.
When Harwich was fortified against the Dutch in 1666, Charles II. having
proceeded from Newmarket to Languard Fort, sailed hither in his yacht,
accompanied by the Dukes of York, Monmouth, Richmond, and Bucking-
ham, and, with others of his suite, attended divine service at the parish
church ; in the evening they embarked for Aldborough, whence they pro-
ceeded by land to Ipswich. WiUiam HI., and Georges I. and II. visited
Harwich on their respective tours to the Continent ; and the Princess Meck-
lenburgh-Strelitz landed at this port on her arrival in England to cele-
brate her nuptials with King George III. In 1808 the Countess de Lille,
consort of Louis XVIIL, the Duke and Duchess of Angouleme, the Count
and Countess de Demas, and others of the nobihty of France, seeking
an asylum in this country, in the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, arrived


in tlie Euryalus frigate, commanded by tlieHon. Captain Dun das. On the
16th of August, 1821, the remains of Queen Caroline, consort of his late
Majesty, George IV., were brought to this place, whence they were
conveyed by the Glasgow frigate to be interred at Brunswick. Harwich
is situated on a peninsular projection on the north-eastern extremity ot
the Essex coast, bounded on the east by the North Sea, and on the west
and north by the estuaries of the Stour and the Orwell, which, uniting
previously to their influx into the sea, form a spacious and secure harbor,
nearly three miles in breadth. The town is in general well built, and
consists principally of three streets ; an Act of Parliament was obtained
in 1819 for watching, paving, and hghting it, and for supplying the
inhabitants with water. An Assembly and a Reading-room have been
erected in West-street, and a Theatre was opened in 1813. The founda-
tions of a castle and fortifications by which the town was defended was
seen previously to the encroachment of the sea at an extraordinary ebb of
the tide in 1 784 ; but of its ancient walls and gates, with the exception of
a very small portion serving to indicate their former strength, the
memorial is preserved only in the record of tolls levied in the reign of
Edward III. for their repair. Harwich is much resorted to during the
season for sea-bathing; and hot and cold baths, arranged with every
accommodation, are supplied from a large reservoir of sea water ; there
are also bathing machines near the jetty. The harbour is protected on
the east by the isthmus on which the town is built, verging towards the
north, and on the west by a similar projection of the coast towards the
south; the entrance is defended by Landguard Fort, erected on the
eastern promontory of the opposite coast, by a large martello tower, and
by a number of shoals near the fort, which so much contract the passage
as to admit of only one large vessel at a time, rendering the harbour
difficult of access, except to expert navigators. Though of unequal depth,
the harbour and bay together form a capacious roadstead for the largest
ships of war, 100 of which were assembled here during the war with
Holland in the reign of Charles II., exclusively of their attendant vessels,
and 300 or 400 sail of vessel carrying coal. To facilitate the entrance
into the harbour by night, two lighthouses were erected under letters
patent of Charles II. On the eastern part of the town, where these are
situated, is a convenient stone quay, and near it is a delightful promenade
called the Esplanade. By means of these lights, vessels are guided oflP a
sandbank called the "Andrews," forming a bar across the entrance to the
harbour, from Landguard Fort into the rolling grounds, from which the
passage leading into good anchorage is safe. The custom-house establishment
consists of a collector, comptroller, and other officers. The trade of the
port principally arises from the quantities of stone obtained here, from


whicli cement is manufactured; about 100 small vessels and boats are
employed in and near the harbour in dredging for stone for making it.
The North Sea fishery, though it has materially declined, still afibrds
employment for a considerable number of vessels ; and a constant trafiic
is carried on by means of steamers and wherries with Ipswich and Man-
ningtree. The number of vessels above fifty tons burden is sixty-one,
and their aggregate tonnage 5497. Ship building is carried on to a
considerable extent ; the dockyard is well provided with launches, store-
houses, and other requisites ; several third-rate and other vessels have
been built, and a patent slip has been recently constructed, on which
ships of very large burden may be hauled up for repair with great
facility. The manufacture of copperas from stones which are found in
abundance on the shore was carried on in the seventeenth century, about
which time an attempt was made to obtain potash from various sea-weeds ;
but it was soon abandoned. The market days are Tuesday and Friday ;
the fairs, principally for toys, are on May the 1st and October the 18th,
each for three days. The borough was first incorporated by charter of
Edward IL, which was renewed, with additional privileges, by James I.,
through the interest of Sir Edward Coke, and subsequently confirmed by
Charles II., by which the government was vested in a Mayor, eight
Aldermen (including the Mayor), and twenty-four capital Burgesses,
together forming the common council, assisted by a Recorder, High
Steward, Town Clerk, Chamberlain, Clerk of the Market, and other officers.
By the Act of the 5th and 6th of William lY., cap. 76, the corporation
now consists of a Mayor, four Aldermen, and twelve Councillors ; the
Mayor and late Mayor are justices of the peace, and the total number of
borough magistrates is twelve. The borough first sent members to
Parliament in the seventeenth of Edward III., but discontinued till the
twelfth of James I., since which time it has made regular returns. The
right of election was formerly vested in the Mayor, Aldermen, and capital
Burgesses, thirty -two in number ; but by the Act of the 2nd and 3rd of
William TV., cap. 45, it was extended to the £10 householders of the
borough, the limits of which contain 1461 acres. The Mayor and eleven
of the corporation, until the passing of the Municipal Reform Act, which
abolished admiralty jurisdictions, possessed conjointly the powers of the
Court of Admiralty, with all its privileges and profits, without accounting
to the Exchequer ; and at the Admiralty Sessions the Mayor was usually
preceded by a person bearing a silver oar, which was kept for that pur-
pose in the town chest. A court of record is held under the charter of
Charles II. every Tuesday for the recovery of debts not exceeding £100, but
from the expensiveness of the proceedings it has almost fallen into disuse.
Petty sessions are held weekly. A new Guildhall was erected some years


since, of whicli the lower part is used as a prison for tlie borongli, chiefly
for the confinement of prisoners previous to their committal to the
county gaol, and the upper is appropriated to the holding of the courts,
and to the transaction of the public business of the corporation. In the '
old Guildhall, a small brick building, were several buckets bearing the
arms and names of members of the corporation, among which were those
of Sir Edward Coke, Attorney - General in the reign of James I. ;
Christopher Monk, Duke of Albemarle, Colonel Sir Charles Lyttleton,
Governor of Languard Fort in the reign of Charles II. ; Sir Harbottle
Grimstone, Master of the Rolls in the same reign ; the Duke of Schom-
berg. Lord Bolingbroke, and Edward, Earl of Oxford, who were recorders
of the borough.

The borough comprises the parishes of Dovercourt (All Saints) contain-
taining 1231, and St. Nicholas 3839 inhabitants. The living of Dover-
court is a vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of St. Nicholas annexed,
valued in the King^s books at £5 Os. lOd. ; net income, £221; it is in
the patronage of the Crown ; impropriator, N. G. Garland, Esq. The
Church, which is an old building, contains several ancient monuments,
and it was celebrated for a rood held in high veneration, for the destruction
of which three men from Dedham, who had stolen it from the Church and
burnt it, were hanged for sacrilege in 1532. The Church of St. Nicholas,
re-built in 1820 at an expense of £18,000, is a handsome edifice, in the
later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower ; in the chancel
are three finely-painted windows, presented by John Hopkens, Esq., and
containing severally the arms of that gentleman, those of the town, and
of Dr. Howley, then Bishop of London. Among the monuments is a
well-sculptared bust of Sir WilHam Clarke, Secretary of War to Charles
I. and II. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and
Wesleyans. A school-room was built in 1724 by Sir Humphrey Parsons,
and a national school is supported by subscription. A fine spring" of clear
water, which was much esteemed for its medicinal properties, and possessed
a petrifying quality, is noticed in the Philosophical Transactions for the
year 1669. Quantities of amber, and, according to some, ambergris, are
occasionally found on the shore ; and in the vicinity of Languard Fort
transparent pebbles are found, which were formerly set in rings by the


In the Hundred of Rochford, is a pleasant and greatly-improved watering-
place. It is a hamlet of Prittlewell, but throws that parish into the shade,
in its general character, its public buildings, and population. The place
is a growth of the last century. We read in a journal of 1768 : "A scheme


is on foot to render Southend a convenient place for bathing, the situation
being esteemed the most agreeable and convenient for the purpose on the
Essex coast/^ Buildings were erected accordingly, but the plans and
projectors alike failed, and the matter slumbered till 1800. A member of
the Heygate family then purchased the buildings and improved the place.
In 1804 Southend was visited by Queen Caroline and the Princess
Charlotte. This event stamped upon it a fashionable character, and since
then it has been much extended. First arose the fine range of buildings
called the Terrace on the high cliff towards Leigh. A pier was carried a
mile-and-a-quarter into the sea in 1835 ; a handsome Church was built
in 1840, and a railway to the Metropolis was opened a few years ago, and
now a new town is rising upon a pleasant spot in the vicinity.

Of late in August, when all Londoners get away from the city to the
sea-side as soon as they can, and for as long a period as possible, many
of them go by the pleasantest of routes to Southend, one of the prettiest
of watering places, where they gladden their eyes and freshen their hearts
with a sight of the sea, and inhale the invigorating breeze. The scenery
along the railway to Southend is full of interest, presenting pleasant
glimpses of Barking, Eainham, Purfleet, Stanford-le-Hope, with its old
Church on the hill, Benfleet, and the ruins of Hadleigh Castle. All the
way travellers may indulge in the peaceful associations of rural prosperity
suggested by the pastoral seclusion of Low Street, and the rich fields of
waving corn beyond, brightened in colour by the crimson poppies, and
made musical by the thrilling songs of soaring skylarks. On the one
side are quiet country lanes and scattered homesteads embosomed in rich
foliage; on the other, ships high up in the Hope, bearing the fruits
of commercial industry and enterprise to remote regions. Passing the
ruins of Hadleigh Castle, the river Thames becomes the sea, and fishing
smacks are glancing in the sunlight, and the old fashioned houses of Leigh
emerge into sight. Now the travellers feel the sea breeze fanning their
pallid faces, leaving the smart taste of salt on their lips ; and before the
keen relish of it is gone they arrive at Southend. They soon find their way
to excellent hostelries, where they can secure all creature comforts. For
amusements there are the usual watering-place facilities. For a promenade
there is the pier, one and a quarter mile in length, where they may enjoy a
breezy walk. They may walk on and on, over the rippling or foam-crested
waves below ; they may enjoy the sight of the trembling waters, breaking
over the black beams of the jetty beneath, and watch the transparent sea
anemone floating amidst the timbers and eddying past. Looking back-
ward, they may watch the landscape diminish in the perspective, and see
the town afar off.


Is a port borougli and market town situated on an eminence near tlie
confluence of tlie rivers Blackwater and Chelmer^ in the southern division
of Essex^ 38 miles from London. This place is supposed by Camden to
have been the Roman Camulodunum which other later antiquaries with
more reason have fixed at Colchester. Maldon is an ancient place,, but is
not remarkable for any important events. ' It claims to be a borough by
prescription. Its burgesses are mentioned in Doomsday book, and in
1086 they held 180 houses and 18 demolished manses. The earliest
known charter was granted in 1155 by Henry II., who gave to the
burgesses all the possessions which they then held of the Crown, and all
their liberties by tenure of free burgage, the service reserved being the
supply of one ship for forty days when summoned by the King, to which
liberties and customs was then added a complete exemption from the
county jurisdiction. This charter was afterwards confirmed several times.
Under the Act of 5th and 6th William TV., c. 76, the borough is now
governed by a Mayor, four Aldermen, and twelve Councillors. The
borough first had the franchise in the 2nd of Edward III., since whose
time it has continued to send two members to Parliament. The old
borough comprises the parishes of All Saints, St. Peter, and St. Mary,
each parish having an ancient spacious Church. The port is small, but
has considerable trade chiefly in coals.


A parish in the Union and Hundred of Tendring, North Division of the
County of Essex, 131 miles (south-east by east) from Manningtree. This
parish, which is bounded on three sides by the sea, forms a noted pro-
montory, called the Naze, from the Saxon term signifying a nose of land.
Imbedded in the clay which forms the basis of the cliffs, there have been
discovered, usually after the ebbing of very strong tides, some curious
fossils, the tusks of elephants, with the horns, bones, and teeth of other
huge animals. The shore* abounds with pyrites, chiefly of wood, of which
immense quantities have been here manufactured into the crystal, com-
monly called green copperas, or sulphate of iron; and nodules of
argillaceous clay, which continually fall from the clifis and harden into
stone, are gathered and conveyed to London and Harwich for making
Roman cement. The manufacture of copperas is now discontinued at
Walton, and it is now sent to London for that purpose. The ground upon
which the old copperas works stood is sufiiciently apparent, an almost
indelible mark being attached to it.


Mr. T. Wilmsliurstj in an interesting description of tlie place and its
productions, says : — " The cliffs of Walton abound in tLie vestiges of a
former state of tliis planet. In consequence of the crumbling nature of
the cliffs, here termed ' Antediluvian/ these vestiges are laid bare to
the eye, and fossil shells are always to be found, either projecting from

Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 70)